U.S. Economy: Recovery and The Sum of the Parts
As evidenced by the above factors, one can see how many individuals continue to struggle within an economy that may be under-performing as compared to other recoveries, but has still posted consistent gains over the past four years.
The data suggests that growth has simply been too weak to provide sustainable benefits to the broad spectrum.
Job growth has been tepid, part-time positions have increased in relationship to full-time opportunities, individuals have been forced into taking lower-paying positions, and overall reported growth has masked the wide disparities seen when broken down at the state, local and individual household levels.
The oft-cited 47% of Americans Mitt Romney ‘dismissed’ during the last campaign could be easily replaced with a far more ubiquitous (not to mention disconcerting) 99% being left behind by the current economy.
Again, these divisions aren’t new, as the top income earners have always outpaced the remainder in every economy. The difference is when everyone saw an improvement to their standards of living, few cared all that much about the inequalities. Some will argue (albeit ironically) that it may take the U.S. re-focusing on enhancing the economic well-being of the privileged few in order to ultimately reverse the declines seen by the majority. If so, it brings to mind the Captain Kirk line in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock:
“The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.”
If and when that happens, David Stockman will no doubt beam a smile of validation.
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