To The Daily Sun,
Tony Boutin apparently lives a far different USA than I do. A different planet, even.
I watched America suffer under Reaganomics as he raped our economy in order to fund a massive military buildup — one that I was part of as a Navy man and working for a defense contractor when I completed my enlistment. The top 1 percent were the primary recipients of his largesse, along with those who worked for defense firms. But when Reagan was done and the military buildup subsided, so too did the manufacturing jobs and tens of thousands of Americans found themselves out of work. They stayed that way until Bill Clinton revitalized our economy. But then along came Bush II who again paid tribute to the top 1 percent — only this time without the manufacturing piece.
According to the Financial Times, the GDP gain has been positive for every quarter but two since President Obama took office amidst what was an economic meltdown at the end of the Bush II administration. It has grown 13 percent since the president took office — twice the growth of most European countries.
The economic recovery has been slow but steady since that same time, and economic growth continues on and will continue on for the next decade. The U.S. is expected by the International Monetary Fund to be the fastest growing advanced economy over the next few years. According to the Federal Reserve, unemployment is down considerably since 2008 and looks to stay that way. The U.S. dollar remains strong against the euro and the traded weight of it continues to grow. The broad direction of the U.S. labor market has been clear, with the U.S. private sector adding more than 13 million jobs over the past 66 months — its longest string of gains on record.
U.S. productivity has climbed steeply since 2009. And inflation is down. Mortgage rates are down. Retail sales have come way up since the end of Bush II and have been fairly steady across the board for the past six years. U.S. consumer confidence continues to rise, and new home sales have risen slowly but steadily. Hence, my wife and I living here in our recently purchased home.
But the reality is that the big "tech" cities — where the majority of technology jobs are — are producing far more per person than in second- and third-tier cities. The smaller cities are where manufacturing and industrial jobs tend to be, and many of those jobs have gone global. We need more manufacturing jobs in these places, but many companies have taken advantage of tax loopholes and have moved those jobs overseas.
Unemployment is at its lowest at any time since Reagan left office, and over the past six years more jobs were created — the longest stretch ever in U.S. history. It isn't perfect, but it is better than what it was.
Heck, I make less money now than I did at the end of the Clinton administration, but even that income has risen steadily over the past four years. I can afford to live here in Gilford where I hope to retire in another decade plus.
When I was younger, I was taught that if you're going to bitch about something, offer a solution. Mr. Boutin, where is yours? You only offer to not vote for Clinton in the coming election. Is this your Secret Squirrel way of telling us that if we vote Trump, all of our worries are over? To steal one of Tony's sentences, "These idiots believe it, eating the crap up as if the mirage was brand new."
Donald Trump doesn't represent an America that I defended. And the Libertarians want to legalize all drugs — in a state where drug deaths are on a steady incline? Hey, I'm not happy with our choices either, but with the polarization of our Congress, not much of anything new is coming our way anytime soon. And if our only decent choice is "more of the same" for the next four years with an economy that may be slow but is still growing? I'll take that tortoise ... over that "hair."
- Category: Letters
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