It’s autumn of 2013, five years after the economic and financial meltdown in the fall of 2008, and tens of millions of Americans are still out of work. Tens of millions more are underemployed or earning significantly less than they were a decade ago. The housing market, whose epic collapse triggered the recession that followed, is still in the doldrums. Millions of households have had to default on their mortgages. Student loan debt is at an all-time high and climbing, as today’s rising generation, apprehensive at slim job prospects, prolong or diversify their post-secondary education, hoping against hope that their dearly purchased credentials will give them a leg up if the economy ever does truly recover.
And politicians, true to form, are trying to take credit for a recovery that looks a lot worse than most normal recessions. “We’ve cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis and we’ve begun to lay a new foundation for economic growth and prosperity,” President Obama said in mid-September, in defense of a disastrous economic policy that has featured trillions of dollars in bailouts and stimulus, tax hikes, skyrocketing deficits, and an onslaught of new government regulations ostensibly designed to “curb the excesses” of the free market.
Feeling It in the Pocket
Since the onset of the Great Recession in 2007, Americans have endured more than five years of unremitting economic and financial turmoil. Recent developments in Syria have temporarily diverted public attention from money matters, but the hard reality, which few in Washington are willing to face, is that the American economy remains in desperate condition, weighed down by trillions of dollars of new debt, smothered by a vast regime of new federal controls, including ObamaCare, and hamstrung by an array of burdensome new taxes that seem calculated to prevent significant new capital formation from ever taking place.
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