By Elder George
Todayâ€™s column will address the deteriorating economy as one of the seven major issues affecting society. This issue has been on my list for the past 15 years even though economists tell us that period of time witnessed an unprecedented continuous level of economic expansion. It has not and for many reasons, two of which I will discuss today.
Natural growth in the economy comes from the desire to acquire new things. General Motors turned a profit every year of the Great Depression because the automobile was a new item on the market. The post World War II economic expansion resulted from the pent up demand for new products such as television, clothes washers and dryers, refrigerators, and a variety of other products for the home. Later expansions arose from the availability of electronic products such as calculators and computers. New does not come from the government, from banks, or from universities; it comes from the creative will of the masculine gender and nowhere else. In socialist societies male creativity is stifled resulting in a lack of new, which ultimately causes economic stagnation. The USSR failed because of economic stagnation.
The United States has devolved into a similar economic situation. The automobile, airplane, radar, sonar, rocketry, computer, and telephone were all invented prior to 1950. Very few people can name a post 1950 invention. Economic activity has become increasingly dependent upon financial manipulation, which ultimately results in fraud. The savings and loan crises of the eighties, the Silicon Valley collapse of the nineties, and the present home mortgage debacle all resulted from financial manipulation that created a false economic increase that ultimately collapsed. Sound economics are based on the production of NEW and only the masculine gender produces it.
The second reason for the deterioration of our economy has to do with mass production.
Increases in productivity were shared with increases in wages. This philosophy enabled people to buy manufactured items at lower and lower costs. Cell phones, calculators, computers, and television sets have become throwaway items because of the low costs that have derived from mass-production.
However, a haircut cannot be mass-produced; nor can visits to the doctorâ€™s, dentistâ€™s, and lawyerâ€™s offices. A shoeshine, house painting or answering of the telephone cannot be mass-produced either. Individual services are becoming increasingly restricted to the masses. Compare this to the era before mass-production. My grandfather was a European peasant, yet he was able to afford to get a shave from the barber every day and his daughters had their dresses made by a seamstress. By contrast, the corner shine stand has disappeared from the American scene; robots have replaced telephone operators, and the cost of medical and dental care has become prohibitive. We canâ€™t afford each other any more. Thatâ€™s not good economics. Itâ€™s bad for the psyche as well.
In this land of continually increasing gross domestic product (GDP) the average person can afford less and less of the services of people. Who then profits from the trillions of dollars of economic activity? Not the business operators or their employees, for bankruptcies have been increasing even among the largest corporations. The greed of the international financial community has siphoned off the wealth of the world. A lack of ethics has resulted in our economic woes and we will discuss that lack next week.
Elder Georgeâ€™s website is www.mensaction.net and he can be reached at 212-874-7900 ext. 1329.