There is no “riding out" the current economic crisis. If you follow the news you hear comments like: we can ride this downturn out, things have been worse, it won't last too long, and the economy will turn around and other similar non-reassuring commentaries. These people have their heads in the sand; things will not return to “normal. " The follow report from CNN is revealing
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Americans are feeling a lot more economic pain than the government's official statistics would lead you to believe, according to a growing number of experts.
They argue that figures for unemployment and inflation are being understated by the government.
Unemployment and inflation are typically added together to come up with a so-called “Misery Index. "
The “Misery Index" was often cited during periods of high unemployment and inflation, such as the mid 1970s and late 1970s to early 1980s.
And some fear the economy may be approaching those levels again.
The official numbers produce a current Misery Index of only 8.9 - inflation of 3.9% plus unemployment of 5%. That's not far from the Misery Index's low of 6.1 seen in 1998.
But using the estimates on CPI and unemployment from economists skeptical of the government numbers, the Misery Index is actually in the teens. Some worry it could even approach the post-World War II record of 20.6 in 1980.
"We're looking at government numbers that are really out of whack, " said Kevin Phillips, author of the book “Bad Money. "
Remember the recent reports concerning the government cover-up of key climate change data? The White House was concerned with data that did not back their views on climate change and subsequently censored data that contradicted that view. While it is understandable that the government would be concerned over economic panic, one recalls the Great Panic of 1929, it is nevertheless worse to lead the public down a primrose economic path.
The economy will not return to the way it was and this is a positive thing. Gas prices will not go down. Food will not get cheaper. Drilling for new oil will solve nothing. People have got to realize that we have reached a “planetary carrying capacity" with respect to our “normal" way of living. In other words, the planet cannot sustain life as we have known it at higher levels. Unless we fundamentally alter the way we live, problems will only worsen and accelerate.
Oil has reached its peak. Drilling for more will make little difference as demand has already exceeded supply, both current and future. The time is now, actually past due, to invest massive amounts of resources into a totally new supply of renewable, non-polluting form of energy. Just “Google" water powered cars and see the potential. On the food front, climate change has altered the way agriculture will do business. Large corporate farming is not the answer. When they are hit by floods and drought we are all too familiar with the outcome. It is way past time to support local, small scale agriculture. Just like the stock market, put all of your money in one fund and you are wiped out if it crashes. Diversity is the key and the same holds true with farming. Stop wasting money on the “junk food, " eat natural and support local.
No matter what aspect of society is examined, it is clear that change is here to stay. There is no turning back and trying to do so would not be very smart anyway. The past is not sustainable. These and many related issues are being discussed in thousands of forums on the internet. From the social network sites, " Humanity on Trail" and “Powerful Intentions" to blog and chat rooms, people are beginning to understand that we will not “ride out" the current crisis, rather we need to create a new world that makes some sense if we are to survive as a species. Rather than trying to cover things up, it is time for the government to recognize and admit to what is really happening and work with the people to chart a new direction for the sake of survival.
Mr. Harris was born in Massachusetts. He attended The American University in Washington, D. C. and received his degree in Political Science. His graduate work was done at the University of Northern Colorado and Howard University. He spent several years working for local and regional and state government agencies. He worked on a White House Task Force and served as Rural Policy Coordinator at the FRCouncil of New England.
Mr. Harris is co-author of the novel WAKING GOD and is a nationally syndicated / featured writer for The American Chronicle. His second novel, A MAINE CHRISTMAS CAROL was released by Cambridge Books, his third book, JESUS TAUGHT IT, TOO: THE EARLY ROOTS OF THE LAW OF ATTRACTION (Avatar Publication). He is author of the book, RAPING LOUISIANA: A DIARY OF DECEIT and his two most recent self-growth titles, the “MESSAGES" series were just released by Avatar. See his book titles at http://dickens111.tripod.com/theliteraryworksofphilipharris