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Think Again: Warding off the economic goblins

September 25, 2011|By Zanku Armenian

It’s that time of year again, when the howling coyotes come down from the hills, and cities in our area start seeing the invasion of the body snatchers. It’s a haunting sign of the state of our economy, with economic cobwebs and business ghosts to boot.

Last year I touched upon this subject, and if you haven’t figured it out already, the invasion I am writing about is by Halloween stores. In Glendale, it feels like we have an unusually high proportion of these seasonal stores, which points to the number of retail vacancies as local businesses have shut their doors.

As I take a fresh look at the subject a year later, it feels like we have slid further into the economic abyss, both as a country and as local cities. Consider recent news: our local cities facing multimillion-dollar cuts to close budget gaps; stock markets crashing; the president putting yet another “jobs bill” on the table for Congress; unemployment getting worse; the number of people at the poverty line increasing — the list of evidence is limitless.

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We’re experiencing two simultaneous systemic failures that are leading to this spiral. First is political system failure, with polarization, lack of true leadership or accountability and a disengaged electorate.

Second is the financial system failure, with the continuation of greed in the banking and financial industry and no accountability for the literal fleecing of savings from the middle class to enrich the wealthy. It raises the question: How much worse must it get for people to rise in protest?

One of the original roots of the problem is that in the last decade, we have wasted trillions of dollars on two needless wars that have achieved little except bankrupting our country and ruining the lives of thousands of families that made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. This is in addition to the innocent lives lost in other countries.

The trillions of tax dollars spent on wars have come at the expense of needed investment in our schools, communities and national infrastructure. Where is the accountability for the group of neoconservative bandits who led us into this mess, including Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Pearle? Instead of being held accountable, they’re out having fun while we clean up their mess.

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