OK. Today I read about the slumping economy in a couple of places. One place was a blog I occasionally read and the other was the Chicago Tribune. The basic problem seems to be that businesses won’t hire because consumers won’t buy. What we have is a lack of demand.
What I think we have is a lack of cojones on the part of the free market capitalists. Consumers won’t spend because they are 1) paying down debt, 2) worried about becoming unemployed, or 3) unemployed. Government is tapped out – no more stimulus money. Both the blog and the article said that corporations are sitting on $2 Trillion (yes, with a “T”) of cash due to record profits the last three years. And they are the ones that are afraid? They’re the only ones with the money to make a difference and they are too shortsighted and timid to do anything about it.
I’m reading a biography of Henry Ford. He was smart enough to understand that for mass production to be practical, you need mass consumers. So, he paid workers far above the prevailing wage at the time (though ironically, he despised unions). He could think long-term. If the industrialists that made this country great were as timid and shortsighted as the current crop of business leaders we would still be using covered wagons and plowing fields with oxen. Pathetic.