I am increasingly convinced that government can’t create private sector jobs. The fact that Washington has diddled around for years, fighting every conceivable battle but the jobs battle, convinces me Washington knows that too.
Washington also knows this is no ordinary recession. It is something else. Maybe it is a “super-Recession.” Perhaps it is a “baby Depression.”
Call it what you will, but the damage is reshaping our nation.
Me, I’ve never been shy about calling this some type of Depression. Many would prefer I didn’t call it that. The word, as it applies to an economy, is pretty damned scary.
If it is a frightening word, so be it. These are frightening times in an increasingly dangerous world.
I am not alone in viewing this meltdown as something extraordinary.
When I spoke at a campaign event last year during my unsuccessful run for State Representative, I mentioned that a number of the folks I’d met door-to-door also didn’t believe what we were going through was a recession.
Many were fearful for the future.
Some used the dreaded ‘D’ word.
Some simply said they weren’t sure what it was, but it wasn’t going away.
One person even told me we needed to learn truly useful skills for the days ahead, such as how to make our own soap.
Former Congressman Kanjorski was at that same campaign event. He spoke after I did. He said he wasn’t sure what we were going through either. He was still in office at the time, and I thought that was an extraordinary thing to say (even though he was on friendly turf at the time).
I take the somewhat radical view that we’ve never been in a recovery. Washington has pumped all kinds of sugar into the economy, like feeding a tired two-year old a dozen candy bars, and with the same result: when the sugar wears off, the economy, like the child, crashes. We’ve fed the economy a ton of candy, and the jobs still aren’t there.
Still, I refuse to despair. Why? Because I believe the American people can overcome any obstacle, despite poor leadership in Washington. We will survive this crisis because Americans, at their core, are fighters.
We will have to fight hard, perhaps harder than we should because we are so poorly served by our leaders. The good jobs are vanishing. So, too, is our middle class. Our children and grandchildren face an uncertain future. The America that comes out of the other side of this isn’t going to be the one that went into it.
A reckoning is underway.
We’re going to get our noses bloodied and perhaps get knocked to the ground. Our choices: stay on the ground or stand back up and keep fighting.
I’m going to keep fighting. I hope you will, too.