What’s Wrong with America… Americans?

Part of the Straight Up! No Chaser! Commentary Series By:​ Tonya Crew, JD

After the debt crisis debate, the S & P downgrade and now the market slide, I don’t know what’s wrong with America. This is not the same country I grew up in – the character of the place has changed. The collective consciousness was to leave our children better off than we were. And quite frankly, it’s the idea that I will witness the first generations leave their children with “less” of many things – less money, less water and air quality, and less opportunities. This is very disturbing to me, as it should be to us all. With what?” Isn’t it time for a “real” tea party. Are Americans so content, distracted, or disconnected, that we are missing the point. This used to be our country. Now, exactly what are the citizens doing while Rome is burning? Nothing!

Okay, Okay, I will calm down and get to the point. I usually don’t wax the political/philosophical, but I am incredibly frustrated, that day after day, a new crisis emerges in this country and pushes the “jobs issue” further back in line. I get the country is not happy with the President. I also get the country is not happy with Congress, and if I hear one more person say, “throw the bums out” I am going to scream. Really! Aren’t there new ones just lined up to take their places?

There are many things in life a person can do without, but a job is not one of them. Unfortunately, the cost of joblessness cuts much deeper than the cost of unemployment; for the college graduate facing under-employment, if any employment at all, the formative years of your career may be lost to a ten to fifteen year delay in economic growth; for people in the 50 -65 age group, those last most productive years, when consulting or prospering from your years of experience were supposed to bolster your shrinking pensions and retirement accounts – gone! I am not talking about people who are not able to work, or who just don’t want to work. I am talking about the person who takes pride in work, who loves the sense of accomplishment – those who understand that work is a necessary function. And the idea that small businesses can cure the ills of this “jobless” economy is total and complete fiction. Most small businesses are only the owner and maybe a couple of employees. Every so often a larger start-up may spring up, but “small and svelte” are still the keys to economic survival, so heavily-laden payrolls are not the way to get there. I am quite sure I am not the only person in this country who is frustrated with what is happening to our workforce, our people, our country.

Small business needs leadership where there is no structure for leadership. Small business needs innovations, other than “a faster Internet” or “a new form of social media.” We need the innovation of the great empire builders, the dedication of inventors, the determination of the explorer; these are the great minds that seem to be missing from this equation. Americans used to solve problems, not only here, but around the world. What have we solved lately? Only through redefining, re-engineering, and re-purposing our resolve are we going to find our way out of this recession. I am no economist, but I know dysfunction when I see it. At one point in the national conversation, people talked about alternatives, collaborations, and establishing local barter systems. Things appeared to be improving and we reverted to our old ways of thinking; instead of preparing for what could be a double dip recession, more layoffs, more job losses, more losses from the Stock Market. Okay, I’m done. Just had to have my say.

I have friends all over the world, and if they were to ask me “what’s wrong with America? I would be forced to reply. . . Americans.

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