We have a jobs crisis in America.
And it's a result of too little economic growth, which is a result of inadequate private sector growth, which in turn is largely a result of the wrongheaded economic policies pursued by our big and inefficient government sector and its policies.
But first let's review the condition of the various age groups in America, since they're the ones who have to force the politicians to deal with this mess that all of us have created for ourselves.
The age group summary I'm presenting is fraught with generalities, of course, but I believe that it paints the overall U.S. condition as it exists currently in a reasonably accurate manner. At least I tried to do that.
Too many of those under age twenty are generally unprepared for college, unable to get good jobs and unprepared to make personal financial decisions responsibly.
Too many of those under thirty are undereducated, un or underemployed and heavily in debt with student loans.
Too many of those under forty, in addition to sharing the problems of those under thirty, are underwater with their home mortgages and even heavier in debt. While perhaps employed, they are generally underemployed and unable to see a clear path out of debt.
Too many of those under fifty are realizing that they haven't begun saving enough for their retirement and that it's getting too late to do an adequate job of doing so.
Too many of those over fifty are contemplating, nearing or already in retirement and collecting pensions and later Social Security and Medicare benefits.
And all along the way to retirement and becoming eligible for government provided Social Security, Medicare and nursing home care benefits, there are available to us such things as Head Start and other preschool programs, free K-12 education, student loans, Pell Grants, food stamps, rent assistance, unemployment compensation, disability pay from the Social Security system, and other government grants to help soften the blow of daily living.
So what's happening in Washington and across the states? Well, too many of our elected politicians are doing everything they can to avoid telling the truth to We the People. That's the way they're (and we too) have been able to avoid coming to grips with the implications of all of the above enumerated problems that we are going to have to solve, both as individuals and as a society.
And the conclusion I reach regrettably is a starkly simple one.
As a society, we're not nearly as rich as we think we are, and definitely not nearly as rich as we act like we are.
And even more important, we don't have the properly functioning institutions, including government, that are focused on the vital necessity of private sector non-government assisted job creation.
Our government isn't willing to adopt those policies that will allow the private sector participants to create the good jobs that we so desperately need.
And the best example of this reluctance of government to allow jobs is in the area of energy exploration, transportation, development, export and sales.
A few individual states are winning but most are losing, and energy is the prime reason underlying who's creating jobs and who's not.
The Biggest Losers says this:
""I think Ohio can be the best state in the country and that's not political puff." So boasted Buckeye Gov. John Kasich . . . . "Young people like Cincinnati," he added. "It's a cool, happening place."
Uh huh, and that's why new Census Bureau data show that last year Cincinnati was the 10th slowest-growing metro in the country, among those with populations greater than one million.
The biggest population loser? Cleveland. Mr. Kasich can hardly be faulted for playing up a bad hand that he in large part inherited. Ohio's big cities have been shrinking for the past two decades. But then again, so have a lot of cities in the Rust Belt and New England, including Detroit and Providence, R.I.
The good news for Ohio though is that fracking in the Marcellus and Utica shale deposits could help reverse the population decline in many of its cities. A study by IHS Global Insight projects that drilling could create 267,000 jobs in Ohio by 2035, up from 38,380 today, and within two decades could add $35 billion annually to the state's economy.
A new Census report says that an oil and gas boom has revived growth in many regions of the Great Plains after decades of out-migration. "The Permian Basin, located primarily in West Texas, and North Dakota accounted for almost half of the total U.S. growth in firms that mine or extract oil and gas, during a recent one-year period," noted Census Bureau senior adviser Thomas Mesenbourg.
Meanwhile, 40 of the 50 fastest-growing metros last year were in the hydrocarbon-rich South and West. Only one was in the Northeast. Liberals seeking to block fracking in upstate New York may want to take note, especially considering that Rochester and Buffalo were among the five slowest-growing metros."
As only one example, but a hugely symbolic one, the Keystone XL pipeline decision by President Obama is long overdue. He's sat on this one long enough. Ditto for energy development of federal lands.
And an intense emphasis and focus on private sector job creation by government is long overdue as well. Tax reform is absolutely essential. Abolish crony capitalism and let our American based companies repatriate money now held offshore.
So as we hear the various politicians prattle on endlessly about reaching a 'Grand Bargain' on the budget or other such cheap talk in future weeks, let's keep in mind all of the above.
They won't be addressing seriously all the things that must be addressed by us as a nation. They will avoid even discussing them to the extent that they can.
We have serious problems to resolve in this great country, and government can't solve them for us.
The government knows best gang of aristocrats has, however, at least until now, kept us from solving them by ourselves.
And at that 'job' of 'problem solution avoidance' they've been doing a very good job indeed.
And it's too bad that We the People continue to let them get away with it.
Drill, baby, drill would be a nice start.
That's my take.