Economic fears have such a firm grasp on the average American consumer that he is now making some major changes to his budgeting mindset. Not since the Great Depression year of 1937 has the consumer made such drastic cuts to his spending habits and, from the Michigan Consumer Confidence Survey, it is all related to economic fear felt in the average household.
The very public squabble over the debt ceiling and the eventual capitulation by Congress to more of the same old reckless federal spending, has heightened American awareness of the problem of the debt. But, subtly, the debt fight on Capitol Hill also drove a spike into the voter confidence that American political leadership is in control of the economy…something that hasn’t happened since 1932.
The two main political parties missed their opportunity to rein in this fear with honesty over the past decade and have opened the door for a voter revolt not only at the ballot box but into the public street arena much like the battle over Vietnam did in the 60s. Consider, the political parties and the voters have considered the President (who is elected from one of the two parties) as all-powerful simply because he is the President. They have conferred on him omniscient powers that used to be reserved for God. Likewise they feel Congress is all powerful simply because it is Congress acting in coordination with the President. This absolute reliance on authoritarian, eternal power residing in the puny frames and minds of other humans is leading the charge of the consumers’ fears.
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said Friday morning “We have to give the President’s ideas a chance. We have to stop this unreasonable fear among Americans. He has a plan that must be allowed to succeed.” When asked for the source of her optimism, she cited the data coming from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an agency within her own Department, whose data has been demonstrably proven false time after time. But again, her blind reliance on Obama being able to fix the problem with “proper cooperation from Congress” shows a reliance on government that simply isn’t supportable in the face of an on-going recession that threatens to take a bite from the American economy once again and shows the bureaucracy is trying to foster continuing consumer reliance on government, not themselves.
The August jobs report shows America failed to create any new jobs for the first time since WWII. What is even more disturbing is not once in the last 48 months has the economy come close to creating the 250,000 jobs necessary for the economy to stay level, much less grow. The jobs outlook for the next 16 months is just as dismal.
Expert analysts, paid to promote an agenda by whomever is paying them, are no longer believable, much like the ratings agencies’ have lost credibility. When the populace can no longer trust what the authorities are saying the fear factor has to grow while confidence plummets. What the consumer is crying out for is a true assessment of the economic situation without bias.
If Secretary Solis was honest, she would have explained how no jobs were created in the economy, 409,000 new unemployment claims were filed and the “official” unemployment rate managed to stay the same. She didn’t and that’s the problem. The various figures offered by the BLS simply cannot be reconciled, proving to the consumer government cannot be trusted.
From a control perspective, party leadership cannot foresee a time where the final decisions don’t rest with them. This lack of foresight is providing the opening for a populist revolution. The seeds of the revolution were last sown by the Tea Party or 9-12ers. But they are just the latest off-shoot effort by the discontented, and still unsophisticated, majority that comprises the largest bloc in America. But the strength of that effort is growing though the entrenched parties don’t recognize it.
To the power entrenched, the average consumer seems wholly reliant on the mother’s milk of government but the milk is increasingly sour of taste and unable to satiate the hunger for truth. The strangling regulation that goes along with obtaining the milk is no longer tolerable to the economy. The deceit that accompanies the enforcement of that regulation is proving ever more indigestable and discontent grows.
American leadership is at a crossroads. For more than a hundred years it has dumbed down the populace until nothing remains but robot-like creatures for anarchist youth who complain bitterly about the state of affairs and elderly who only want consistency before dying in relative peace. The consumer knows these individuals are so used to looking to authority for answers to their troubles, any change in leadership will receive the same obedience from them.
The curse of the two power parties is they cannot imagine the possibility of a populist American revolt outside the system they’ve set up to insure their own prosperity.
That’s where their own lies will destroy them. They can no longer encompass the sheer mass of disconnected people nor the depth of their discontent. Worse, they cannot imagine those people going anywhere but back to the D’s or R’s come election time.
Fear changes the equation and fear America has. It is rolling through Main Street, gaining momentum. The political parties better listen.