The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

83° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    A case for economic patience

    The after effects of the economic recession that ranged from December 2007 until June 2009 are still being felt. Unfortunately, the pain is staked largely in the middle class American’s home. According to a study conducted by two former Census Bureau officials, the median household income fell 6.7 percent. That’s just over double how far it fell during the recession.

    Although the economy has been on the rise ever since July 2009, the recovery still hasn’t officially begun. Americans are still unable to find work. Yes, the unemployment rate fell from 9.5 percent to 9.2 percent, but that isn’t noticeable enough for the Americans who are struggling. Furthermore, for those fortunate Americans that do find work, they have to go longer stretches of time before that happens. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics states that average length of time it takes a person who lost their job to find new work is at its highest point in roughly 60 years. When the recession began back in December 2007, it was an average of 16.6 weeks before a person found work again. That jumped to 24.1 weeks in June 2009 and then skyrocketed to 40.5 weeks in September 2011.

    Economic growth has most certainly occurred, yet job opportunities and wages have failed to follow. Despite inflation, which caused a spike in oil and food prices, wages can’t quite keep pace. Interestingly enough, during the recession, wages outran inflation. Some believe this can be attributed to workers taking pay cuts just to be employed. Of course, some money is better than no money in dire circumstances.

    So what we’re currently witnessing is essentially the aftermath of fooling ourselves that the worst had already come. It’s easy to talk about a recession when you haven’t quite felt the crushing blow, or seen all of the effects. That is where we currently are. Yet, it is important that at these trying times we do not allow our fears of uncertainty and lack of monumental success to deter our thinking.

    Back in the fall of 2008, people had the hope they were looking for. They rallied behind Democrats and they cast their vote for Barack Obama. A mere five months after Obama toke office the recession ended. While there are fears of a return of a recession, no such thing has happened. While job growth remains limited, it cannot grow if the economy doesn’t continue to grow. Just as Rome wasn’t built over night, not all matters of economic downturn can be rectified immediately.

    Yes, four years has nearly come and gone yet Americans still don’t see the direct effect on their lives. But we have to ask ourselves, have we honestly given the plans and policies we stood behind in 2008, their due shot? From 2009 until 2010, the US GDP increased from $14.119 trillion to $14.582 trillion. That’s one year of progress under the men and women we elected from the 2008 elections. That’s progress.

    We didn’t however give them our full faith. In 2010, the American people failed to recognize and appreciate the growth, and were still understandably hurting at home. The “Tea Party” came through “mad as hell” and knocked several politicians out of office. The progress was undone. The successful were replaced by the angry and stubborn.

    So before we continue to question our faith and doubt our convictions, of which we so firmly stood by in 2008, ask if we have given our government the tools for success. Yes, Americans are hurting and that is a reality of which nobody wants to live through. But, things are always going to get worse before they get better. Pardon the cliché but it’s always darkest just before the dawn. We made a change in 2008 and we saw immediate progress, at least statistically. Although, the success is yet to affect the lives of everyday Americans, we cannot allow our faith to falter every two years. Although collapse can come quickly, recovery takes time.

    — Storm Byrd is the Perspectives editor. He can be reached at
    letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search