Perspective Vindicated

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A high profile person in the last week said about the rich getting richer and the rest not, "this is not the type of thing which a democratic society - a capitalist democratic society - can really accept without addressing."

Who said this?: 1) Howard Dean(D), - 2) John Kerry(D), - 3) Alan Greenspan(R).

Alan Greenspan is no liberal. He is a Republican and the most respected economist in the nation, today. And the man is saying it forthrightly, America cannot continue this trend of the wealthier accumulating ever more wealth while the other 80% of Americans tread water or continue losing wealth without damaging America's economy in the globalized future. The Christian Science Monitor has an excellent article on Greenspan and this topic entitled, Rich-poor Gap Gaining Attention. I hope Greenspan's comments mark an historical shift in American economic policy after Bush leaves office.

I have been writing for years about the threat of accumulation of wealth into too few hands as a major threat to America's future. Some Republican supporters responded to my articles by calling me a socialist. And some Democrats on the left responded by calling me a doomsayer. But, here I sit, in the middle with a very widely respected personage who at the end of his career, has decided he has nothing to lose by telling the truth regardless of what his Republican President, or Party thinks. Alan Greenspan's days are surely numbered. This is not a President or party who tolerates speaking truth to power in public.

But, let's examine Greenspan's argument. Alan Greenspan is a conservative economist of the Friedman mold. But, Alan Greenspan recognizes that Friedman's model of economics fails to address competitive globalization of economies. That's a mouthful; what does it mean? Simply this. America is not paying some of its labor enough to be competitive in the global marketplace. America's future competitiveness is extremely dependent upon a broad middle class and American education TODAY! And what do we find in America's schools? Underpaid teachers. And because they are underpaid, the talent that could be teaching our young people to compete in 15 or 20 years, have no desire to teach in underpaid schools when their talents can yield much higher returns in other positions.

Our intelligence communities may be suffering the same lack of exceptional talent and expertise for the same reasons. One of the areas of America's economy that continues to draw customers and money from overseas is our medical system. But, with hospital mortality rates on the rise, and the number of malpractice incidents also on the rise, how long will it be before foreign customers realize there are safer hospitals to be treated at elsewhere? How long until overseas hospitals outperform ours, where nurses are not in severe shortage and where nurses and administrative staff overseas are paid relatively more than here, and therefore produce a lower mortality rate than in the US?

American government is myopically concerned about American labor costing too much in manufacturing for example, to realize that our future depends very much on increasing the cost of certain labor groups to regain or maintain our future competitive edge in the global marketplace in other areas. Hungry, driven, and motivated creative entrepreneurs come from the working classes for the most part. Where will such entrepreneurs come from if the middle class continues to shrink and working parents continue to lose the ability to fund their teen's and young adult's experiments in the garage, as was the case with Bill Gates?

By far, however, the bigger issue is the economic perfect storm I have written about in Affluence Destroying America's Future?, 2004 Election Issues (The Economy), and The Perfect Economic Storm. The combination of our deficits and debts (fiscal, trade, and individual), looming crises in pensions, Medicare/Medicaid, and Social Security spell out very clearly the warnings of an impending economic perfect storm. But, now, Americans don't have to rely on my Bachelor's degree as expertise for such warnings. Alan Greenspan, Ph.D. and Federal Reserve Chairman is issuing similar warnings. It is high time Americans paid attention and began putting the pressure on their parties, on their politicians, and on the spin-meisters to address these problems before it is too late.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on June 14, 2005 7:06 AM.

Affluence Destroying America's Future? was the previous entry in this blog.

Nader: A great man with a great cause. is the next entry in this blog.

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