Despite the rosy spin that our government is putting on the US economy getting better, are facts pointing at a scenario of continued struggle, with some rocky times ahead? Printing trillions of dollars has temporarily pushed stocks to an all-time high, and the reported unemployment rate has dropped to under eight percent. But is this a temporary bubble? The economy is stagnating, ninety million Americans have dropped out of the work force, forty-plus million are receiving food stamps, and reckless government spending has become the norm. Printing greenbacks is devaluing our currency, the Federal Reserve currency and our very way of life.
American companies, faced with a higher cost of risk, higher tax burden and more government regulation have responded by inflating their prices and laying off workers. Some forms of American enterprise used to be bulletproof to bad economic times, but that's just not so anymore. We've all heard the trials and tribulations of Las Vegas, and how the gaming mecca of the world has limped along for the last few years. The Fountainbleau Casino has gone bankrupt, just like New Jersey's Revel Casino. There's a growing percentage of society that just can't afford to play, and the gaming industry is feeling that effect bigtime.
Companies like Disney have just announced hundreds of layoffs, including the closing of LucasArts. Hewlett Packard, American Airlines, Pepsico, Food Lion, Albertsons, Proctor & Gamble... the list goes on and on... are just a few big corporate names that have recently laid off workers, and are trying to survive financially any way they can. It's just a tough economical time for workers, and the companies that employ them, though most economists seem to think we'll survive and thrive. Is the economy getting better? Is there an upside?
At least all the money we've printing has somewhat righted our economic ship, and given us the chance to get back on our feet. Our banks are still open, grocery stores are still providing us with the foods we need, and our police, fire and school systems are intact, giving our communities the basic solid support needed to thrive and survive. Even housing prices in some areas appear to be rebounding, giving us some much needed optimism.
And some companies that cut their work forces to get through the dire times of 2007-2011 are starting to slowly re-hire. Because successful businesses have streamlined their labor and utilities costs out of necessity, these companies have achieved a more stable bottom line,. This hiring trend is slow, but it is growing. And the entrepreneurial spirit is alive. Thousands of people who've been laid off, or can't find work, are getting self-reliant and starting their own biz. So, is the economy getting better? Overall the answer is yes, there's definitely an upside.
Times are tough for all of us right now, and there's no denying that. But keep a little optimism, too. Reliance on ourselves and on our families and friends will get us through to a better day. Stay strong.
Thanks for reading.
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