Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Why are prices so high and un-affordable for most US consumers?
The economic back bone of the US economy was broken and never repaired following the Great Inflation of the 1970's, which I describe in great detail in my blogs related to US Economic Cancer. By the early 1980s the US economy was warn out, suffering more than a decade of rapidly escalating prices, unable to grow economically, looking for a way out of its slump. Instead of doing the hard, smart and collective work, necessary to correct market failures that had made the US economy structurally uneconomic, America, led by corporate America, large global investors and the Republican party pushed for and got America to take the path of least resistance economic strategy, which in effect was not an economic strategy but rather a financial strategy. From the early 1980s to this day, America has committed to a strategy of financing uneconomic growth in the US economy. Instead of fixing the economy so that it is affordable, economic and works best for everyone in the economy, beginning around 1983, American business and public policy moved to a strategy of financializing the US economy's uneconomic growth.
Consumers were able to afford the expensive, uneconomic cost of living by borrowing and going deeper and deeper into debt over time, as prices for the most important goods and services, continued to skyrocket, but their paychecks remained relatively flat to down over the next 40 years. On the other hand, corporations and wealthy investors, had the privilege of borrowing, not just to pay for their business costs, but also borrowing to bid up their stock and asset prices which amplified and made the cost of living for consumers and small businesses even more unaffordable. Again, this was not true for all products and services in the US economy, but it was true for the products and services that consumers needed and valued the highest: Housing, Healthcare, Transportation, Education, Childcare, Insurance, Retirement(cost of investment capital). Total public and private sector cumulative debt obligations associated with running the US economy in 1980 was about $5 Trillion, with a debt to GDP ratio of about 140%. Today US total outstanding debt levels are approaching $80 Trillion with Debt/GDP ratio's of 380%. Both the absolute debt levels and the debt levels on a per GDP basis are catastrophically higher today than anything we have seen in American history.
Financializing the US economy was a good idea in the early 1980s if it would have been used as a short term strategy to provide the US economy space to make structural changes to the economy so that down the road (5 - 10 years), America could return to an organically economic economy that was economic and affordable for both consumers and business. This never happened and never ever even came close to happening. America bought into the long term strategy of financing uneconomic growth in the US economy with the belief that finance could always either support enough uneconomic supply and demand growth or support enough asset price appreciation growth for investors, so that from a wealth perspective, the wealthiest top 10% in America were making money hand over fist, but the bottom 80% in America were falling further and further behind over time, because their income and wealth essentially remained flat or substantially down with the passage of time. The US economy has essentially been converted into a consumption and investment Ponzi Scheme, that has about 3 - 5 years left in it before all the cards come tumbling down, on both the rich and the poor alike. No one is spared in a Ponzi Scheme...when the funds run out, there is nothing left for anyone. This is the structural economic reason that prices are so high in the US economy, especially for the strategic products and services the Americans care most about - housing, healthcare, education, transportation, retirement, etc...
Additionally, federal, state and local governments have failed to create and maintain market rules and incentives that would "keep markets competitive for consumers", with the goal of protecting consumer purchasing power in the economy, over time, by ensuring sufficient competition in the marketplace and/or imposing regulation on price that preserve consumer purchasing power in the economy over time.
The US Economy is Uneconomic or a Fake Economy that Finances Uneconomic Market Activity, On Course to Bankrupt America in the Next 3 -5 Years "if the Status Quo persists on a going forward basis". A better Name for The US Economy is the US Finonomy - A financial system which finances uneconomic market transaction which are wildly profitable for the top 10% but are uneconomical and bankrupting the bottom 80% of Americans in the real US economy
Substantial and sustained proactive structural intervention in the US economy is required to correct market failures of past 50 years, re-creating growth in the US economy that is economic and working best for everyone in the economy. This requires a national economic strategy which i call Making It Right, the Economics of the 100% or The Economic Gospel for the United States of America.
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