The United States adopted a neoliberal approach to politics after WWII. Although neoliberalism has allowed the U.S. to have a formidible military industrial complex, partnering government power with corporate power has consequences that worsen over time.
In legal matters, problems multipy as the number of laws multiply. With over a million laws, it becomes too hard to avoid breaking the law and having so many laws puts greater stress on our nation’s police forces. Legal matters become more intrusive into people’s private lives, and our legal system has become more transactional, harming the poor. Some people view the legislature and law making as a way to get more of what they want by getting their legislature to pass laws against what they don’t want and that leads to ever more arguments when people are intolerant of other’s choices. We see a growing partnership between computer technologies and government to do surveillance and to diminish the sphere of privacy.
In matters of war making, a very large military expenditure encourages empire seeking and it costs a huge amount of money that has been “off the books” in examples including private military companies operating in the Middle East and the Pentagon’s budget. An established expectation is that irresponsible military spending will continue. With boondoggle overspending the American military has nevertheless become unable and perhaps unmotivated to end military conflict.
In matters of banking, financialization has been a disaster. Overspending in the federal budget continues to crowd out opportunities for most Americans. There’s no sign that Congress wants to reduce its spending. The Federal Reserve was willing to experiment with our banking system in order to offset malinvestments and financial losses caused by “risk-on” financialization. The Federal Reserve approved of the destructive growth of derivatives and the use of algorithms for trading. It made a mess of the economy in the Great Recession with TARP and QE. Communities all across the nation are in decline since then.
The American Real Estate market has never recovered. Many Americans see American real estate as too unstable for them to invest in it. Or if they’ve already bought a house, they stay in their old house wherever they are living instead of selling out and moving to seek out a new opportunity in another community. Making the whole American economy more expensive and riskier is the legacy of financialization. Mergers and acquisitions make the average job tenure too short for people to see a long-term payoff as being likely for a long term investment in real estate. Very high inflation in housing costs because of investors flipping houses has also discouraged people.
American families continue to struggle in a lack-luster economy. I constantly hear announcers on AM radio claiming that unemployment has never been lower on a historical basis but that just isn’t true. Unemployment is high and the only way that anyone can claim otherwise is to ignore long-term unemployed people. The old method of labor market employment analysis once included counting the long-term unemployed but that method was abandoned to make the number appear better than it is.
Fewer Americans can afford to attend universities and large loans in a slow economy have hurt graduates who can’t find work that would pay for getting an education. University enrollments have been falling. Rising tuitions make an education unaffordable.
What I hope is that Congress will stop bickering and address these problems caused by greedy government overspending and economic interference. Congress should stop trying to control the global economy and people’s lives. Monopolies have formed in media, healthcare, education, military, banking, and real estate and fraud is running rampant across America. Small enterprise can’t compete with monopoly enterprises. If Congress wants to do something, how about enforcing anti-trust legislation? How about ending the Empire seeking habits of the U.S. military? How about ending over-legislating everything? How about stopping federal overspending? How about bringing about a more solvent government and banking system? Well…how about it?
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