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immparts has commented on (1) product.

Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future by Robert B. Reich
Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future

immparts, September 29, 2010

Mr. Reich has taken a unique look at the macro causes of this latest Recession/Depression. Simply put, he is absolutely correct. My company is a Machine Tool Builder, or at least was. The 1970's were reasonably good years for the Machine Tool Industry. Then came Ronald Regan in the 1980's. When Mr. Regan came into office there were over 500 members of the National Machine Tool Builders Association. When he left office there were less than 50 members remaining. With that limited membership, the NMTBA disbanded. Manufacturing was moving offshore at a dizzying pace. The scandal of that time was the failure of government (Republican) to provide for and plan for new opportunities for the displaced workers. This, at a time when women were entering the workforce in record numbers. Then as Mr Reich correctly observes, technology (computerized operations) began displacing additional workers even as more persons were entering the workforce. Then began the mergers of financial institutions, the abandonment of any restraint of compensation demanded by CEO's and their ilk. All this while cutting workforces. Then, of course, we saw the banks driving up real estate values to support greater lending, even though much of it was totally irresponsible. The banks caused this run on real estate and the resultant inflation of real estate values, all of which was unsupported by any real underlying value. Finally, the collapse of Iceland shouted the folly of Wall Street. And now, we all know what happened to the citizens of the United States as well. This was a slow moving freight train coming down the track and the politicians, Wall Street, the Banks and Insurance Companies failed to comprehend or care about the magnitude of the impending disaster they themselves had caused.

The solutions? I doubt I have listed any that most Americans do not already want.
1. All Executive compensation in public companies should be subject to shareholder
approval, period!
2. The top wage earners should pay their fair share of taxes. Period!
3. We must encourage manufacturing to re-establish in the United States now!
4. We must encourage more research and development in the U.S. now!
5. We must rebuild our infastructure now!
6. We must improve the educational system in the U.S. Especially math and science.
7. We need to address the illegal worker problem we ourselves created.
8. We need to limit the concentration of wealth in banks, Wall Street and
Insurance companies to ensure a more competitive enviornment.

These problems have been identified long before my comments. Mr. Reich has put the problems and solutions in perspective. We now need only to implement the solutions, which we all agree are needed, to ensure all U.S. citizens will have continued opportunitity and prosperity.
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