The nation is in the midst of economic recovery which began over three years ago. Financial markets have revived, home starts and prices are beginning to perk up, and business profits are growing.
One part of the economy isn't faring very well, however, and it is the part that all politicians profess to care about the most: the middle class and those toward the bottom of the economic rung. Job growth is anemic, with unemployment stuck at 7.9 percent. Wage growth is non-existent, and real median household incomes are falling. ...
Why has this recovery been so sluggish? For three years, interest rates have been artificially held at historical low levels. The federal government has spent billions in stimulus programs designed to recharge the economy. Why haven't hiring and wage growth followed?
Many argue that the problem is with government policies that actually inhibit growth, instead of promoting it. With the national elections over, activist regulators are firmly entrenched in Washington for the next four years. The EPA and other agencies are expected to redouble their efforts to use the power of government, in the name of protecting the middle class.
As a result, business leaders are bracing for a slew of new rules and regulations that are designed to restrict, control or punish, rather than encourage expansion. Other headwinds include the uncertainty of Obamacare, as the benefit of controlling costs is discredited. Competitive energy costs are vital to manufacturing, but government claims to embrace cheap energy are contradicted by actions that actually impede it. ...
Our economy is ready to grow at rates far faster than the past three years. To do it, businesses must adapt to today's circumstances, and grow in spite of them.
But it sure would help if government was a motor, not an anchor.
The Grand Island (Neb.) Independent