Economic Recovery Takes Time

Posted: October 22, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Arnybarn Music logoThe President, four years before, had inherited the worst economic downturn in American history. Since taking office four years ago, economic stimulus programs had been forced through Congress providing businesses, states and counties much needed capital with which to use to create jobs. The building of roads, bridges and government buildings was employing construction workers on a large scale!
The stock market was still stagnant; though there were signs of stock values starting to rise again…the same rise in values could be seen on home prices. Food and fuel costs continued to rise, leaving millions of Americans unable to climb out of poverty. Unemployment continued to rise but was showing signs of coming down due to the local and Federal jobs being created with the stimulus monies. But the unemployment rate was still unacceptably high at around 20%.

The voting public had every right to be impatient with the President and deny him a second term. But they did not deny him. In fact, the year was 1936 And Franklin Delano Roosevelt was re-elected by the largest margin in U.S. history up to that date winning 46 out of 48 states and 60.8% of the popular vote and 523 electoral votes to 8 for  Republican opponent Alf Landon.

The voters understood that the economic problems they suffered from were going to take longer than 4 years to fix. They saw jobs starting to be created. They saw the small signs of economic recovery and knew patience was necessary. They helped their neighbor! There were no Blue or Red states! They understood that the policies of the previous 12 years of Harding’s/Coolidge’s and Hoover’s  “hands off big business” policies had gotten the country in the mess it was in and now was not the time to return to those policies!

In many ways 2012 is very much like 1936!  The 2008 economic downturn was the worst since the Great Depression! But, we now see signs such as a steady, falling unemployment rate, 5,200,000 new jobs created in the past 30 months, rising home values, increases in home sales, a re-vitalized auto industry getting American workers in new cars!

Our Grandparents knew it takes longer than 4 years to fix a major economic downturn. We’ve become a culture of seeking instant gratification. I guess we expected our President to enter office, wave some magical wand and instantly fix the problems that had occurred.

In February of 2009, Obama’s first month in office 750,000 people lost their jobs. The fact that that number was stopped and turned around to jobs being created is by itself amazing to me. But I guess since we didn’t turn the 750k job loss into 750k job creations each month was not enough to satisfy our need. But that type of job creation was never possible. Thousands of jobs were lost because they are no longer necessary.
We are moving away from a manufacturing based economy to a services based economy. The manufacturing of products is being outsourced to other countries where the cost of Labor is much less than it is here. It is a bottom line business decision! Technology is also eliminating jobs we used to need. For example, in my case, I for years was a Cash Manager for healthcare companies in their accounting departments. But the advent of new software and online administration of banking processes eventually allowed the banks to provide Cash Management services to companies, especially smaller companies. So twice in three years, the company I worked for was sold to a competitor and my job was deemed not needed. In fact, I was let go in February of 2009 so my job was one of those 750,000 jobs that was lost that month!
But, I used that loss as an opportunity to start my own music publishing company, Arnybarn Music, and pursue my dream of being in the music industry. I am sure many people started their own businesses. So I wonder exactly how accurate the unemployment rate really is. I am not sure how they count people like me?

Of course the problems are much more complicated than I explain here but it would serve us all well to pause and take a breath! These new small businesses are taking time to be successful, as expected because it does take time to recover from an economic downturn!


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