Skip to main content

See also:

What a strong real estate market needs

A strong real estate market requires jobs. Good jobs. As of the present, the economic situation for many Americans remains grim, with no prospect of a genuine recovery in the job market. Unfortunately, the current job climate is really pretty dreadful, with an unequal mix of "service jobs" (read, "fry cook," or "housekeeper" here), and management, financial, sales, or engineering jobs that involve a higher level of education. MOST of the jobs that built the middle class into the powerhouse it once was are gone, sent overseas. The financial industry is extremely fond of "free trade," because free trade (as they call it) means cheap overseas labor, which creates a terribly unbalanced economy here. Is there an answer? Short of leaving people in situations where they live 4 families to an apartment, or live on welfare, or work three jobs, I mean...

The simple answer is "YES!" In the first place, we need to recognize as a society that our societal future depends on the middle class. If all we have is a poor class and a wealthy class, we will be like medieval Europe (England, in particular), where there was a "landed gentry," and serfs.

Secondly, we must require corporations to become responsible citizens, if they have a presence in the US. I do not subscribe to the "evil corporation" theory--they are just doing what makes the most money for them. A responsible citizen pays taxes (one's fair share, I think is the way the media puts it); a responsible corporation takes care of its employees (not with pensions negotiated by unions that make the corporation forever responsible for retirees, but with 401K's that actually work); a responsible corporation also acts as a responsible citizen, which means that corporations care for the rest of the country, as people are required to do. This has environmental, legal, and ethical implications that go beyond the letter of the law.

Thirdly, we must completely eliminate lobbying of any kind. Lobbyists offer their position, and their organizations' positions, on a multitude of issues, and seek to obtain Congressional approval for things that matter to them. The banking industry influenced Dodd-Frank very heavily. Now, due to the regulations approved by Congress, the banks have much more influence and power than smaller financial entities, because they can afford to comply with the regulations developed by the Federal Government. It's been this way for a very long time. Any large entity (including the government, unions, whatnot) that desires legislation to benefit itself at the expense of others can obtain it with enough lobbying, enough money, and enough campaign contributions. These things amount to bribes, and should be permanently outlawed.

Fourthly, we must focus on the whole economy. For example, the news organizations tout the advance of the stock market as a good thing, but I really don't know that it's all that good. The question is, "What is good for the country as a whole?" Once the nation begins to focus on the entire population, rather than segments of it, we will have a much better chance to change "what is" into "what should be."