The most recent recession was supposed to have ended in June 2009 according to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics. When compared to the economic recovery following previous recessions, a normal economy by now would be growing at an annual GDP rate of about 3.5 percent or more.
A normal economy would also be experiencing an unemployment rate of about 5 percent or less, and new business start-ups would be over one million a year. Even though many of them would fail, the survivors would be adding real full-time jobs to the job market to help sustain economic growth and optimism for families and businesses.
The decades of Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush all resembled these economic metrics of normality despite political differences. This was due to the fact that they all understood at least basic economics, listened to their advisers who also had some basic understanding of economics, and were able to show some semblance of caring more about the people and the nation than politics.
President Obama took office in January 2009 with a Democrat majority in both houses of Congress. They proceeded to spend nearly $1 trillion to stimulate the economy. They passed the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), ostensibly to reduce health insurance costs and increase accessibility for all, and imposed an unprecedented federal regulatory attack on businesses.
As a result, the last four and half years have produced an abnormal economy. None of those policies produced the results the administration expected.
Annual GDP growth has stalled at 2 percent a year or less. The unemployment rate has hovered around 10 percent, assuming the same workforce participation rate prior to 2009. Three-fourths of jobs added in 2013 were part-time jobs, and new business start-ups in 2012 were less than 300,000.
The situation will only get worse with the forced implementation of the structurally and economically flawed Obamacare, the revelation of numerous scandals in the federal government, a continued heavy-handed regulatory environment, historically unorthodox actions by the Federal Reserve Bank, and the looming threat of military action against Syria.
Only the most gullible and clueless among us can find optimism in what lies ahead given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
However, we must not accept this abnormal economy as the "new normal" as the president and his administration have started to suggest. We are better than that and we can do better than that. Just consider our history under other presidents who inherited similarly tough economies and we recovered.
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix with this president and his administration. They have demonstrated repeatedly that they are genetically opposed to reducing taxes, reducing regulations, restructuring unsustainable programs, or replacing broken systems. And they are hellbent on spending this nation into total economic collapse.
But we can slow down the economic carnage with our voices to support those few in Congress who are fighting the good fight for the people. Rallies, emails, phone calls, petitions, and speaking up at town hall meetings do matter. And a critical turning point will be our votes in 2014 to change control of Congress to be more reflective of the will of the people and economic common sense, instead of the will of the politicians.
The road back to normalcy is a long one, but we have traveled that road before. Although the short-term outlook is not very encouraging, giving up is not an option, and some of us will never accept abnormal as the new normal.
Remember: Giving up is a permanent solution to a temporary condition.
Following the conclusion of his presidential campaign, Herman Cain established The Cain Solutions Revolution, an organization whose mission is to educate the public and advocate for the policy solutions that drove his campaign for the presidency. Read more reports from Herman Cain — Click Here Now.
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