“The Economy” = “We, The People ?”
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said the economy was doing very well.
At that same time, the following was true of the people:
- yearly, almost half a million were going bankrupt, caused, in part, by medical bills
- 20% of grade school students were living below the poverty line
- 2.9 million grade school students were living in households where they are unsure when they might get their next meal
- 25% of workers got no paid sick leave
- almost 60% of Americans had total savings of $1000 or less
- 48% of Americans had nothing saved for retirement in a 401(k) or similar instrument
- no more than 35% of student loan debt holders were making regular repayment, and 25% had defaulted
- I could continue…
No doubt the economy, (aka profitability of corporations), was doing very well.
But what did that have to do with the people?
Were they being ignored?
If so, was it regrettable oversight or deliberate policy?
To be clear, I do not advocate doing away with “free-market” capitalism.
I do advocate carefully considered changes to eliminate its more glaring flaws.
“The benefits of economic freedom are secured only within the context of a framework of rules designed to link the pursuit of private profit to the *public interest.”
*public interest = stabilizing or improving the quality of life for all citizens”—From writings of Niskanen Center (a center-right think tank)