Monday, May 30, 2016
Like a lot of Americans, I have been thinking for a long time that our nation is on the wrong track. Not only do things seem to be getting worse rather than better, but it seems the system itself is broken so it is no longer possible to get it back on track. People are disgusted but don't know what to do. The two presumptive presidential nominees of the major political parties show that both parties are out of touch with the American people. I don't think we have ever seen the two leading candidates have such high disapproval ratings from the public as those of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. And the public has an even worse opinion of Congress. The latest poll shows only 11 percent of the public approves of Congress. That's only two points above the lowest number every recorded, in 2013 also under the Obama administration.
The economy is sputtering. Growth averaged 3 percent between 1980 and 2007. Since then it has averaged 1.2 percent. In the first quarter 2016, the economy grew only 0.8 percent, even less than the disappointing 4th quarter of 2015 at 1.4 percent. In April 2016, employment grew a paltry 160,000 jobs while the adult population grew by 200,000 people. In May only 38,00 new jobs were created, far below the 162,000 expected. That was the worst monthly jobs report in five years. At the same time, downward revisions to the previous numbers for April and March subtracted 59,000 jobs.