January 4th, 2010
04:00 PM ET

What to blame for U.S. economic demise?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The past decade of self-delusion and self-indulgence has damaged the U.S. severely... and we may not be able to fix it.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/04/art.job.fair.jpg caption="Employment seekers line up to get into a job fair in New York."]
In a column for the web site "Human Events," Pat Buchanan points to some staggering statistics about how far this country has fallen... including:

  • The U.S. produced 32-percent of the world's gross domestic product back in 2000... it's now 24 percent - the sharpest decline by any country in modern history - except for the late Soviet Union
  • The U.S. started the decade with a budget surplus... but ended with a deficit equal to 10-percent of GDP
  • The economy was at full employment in 2000... now we have 10 percent unemployed... and another seven-percent that's underemployed or has given up looking for work...
  • As many as one-third of all U.S. manufacturing jobs disappeared in the past 10 years, our national debt doubled... and China practically holds the mortgage on us
  • Add in two wars, tax cuts under Bush, astronomical deficit spending, the housing crisis - and we have a real mess on our hands

Buchanan writes we did this all to ourselves believing we were "the greatest empire since Rome" and "the indispensable nation"... while buying into the global economy and free trade.

Meanwhile - prospects for robust and sustained economic growth in this new decade appear bleak. Top economists predict U.S. GDP will expand less than 2-percent per year for the next 10-years. They point to factors like a poor job market, a weak real estate sector and the banks.

Here’s my question to you: What’s to blame for America’s economic demise?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Margaret writes:
No one wants to pay a good wage because it cuts into profits. So jobs get shipped overseas because they will make it cheaper and goods can be imported here and sold cheaper at a higher profit. Everyone’s happy, right? What is forgotten in the equation is the consumer has to have money to buy the goods. No good-paying jobs, or no jobs at all, the consumer can no longer consume. We are a consumer-driven economy and our car has lost its engine.

Lew in Readfield, Maine writes:
We have only ourselves to blame. We want more and more government services and we want to pay less and less taxes. We want to inherit great wealth but eliminate the estate tax. We want great goods that come at a slave-labor price. Our parents were "The Greatest Generation"...... We Boomers will be forever known as the "The Selfish Generation".

Dave writes:
Jack, You can call it "free trade" you can call it "global economy", you can call it "outsourcing". Whatever you call it, it's a loss of employment in a system that requires employment in order to sustain itself. The sad thing is, it's only going to get worse.

Jason from Iowa writes:
Human nature and human stupidity killed our economy…. We are focused on our government being the source of tyranny; it’s too bad that we have missed where the true source is and that’s the leaders and CEOs in business. The tree of liberty could use the watering of the blood of our corporate tyrants.

Dwayne writes:
We are the only nation in the world that does not practice some kind of protectionism of its jobs. The stupid trade agreements of the last 30 years have destroyed the blue collar middle class.

Ron from Clearwater, Florida writes:
Jack, Sometimes I wish we could just have a King, no left and right, no lobbyists, no arguing, no corruption… just one honorable person who could straighten out the whole mess in a year.

Filed under: Economy • United States
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Jane M

    REAL ESTATE – or shall I say GRUBBY SLIMEY REALTORS! I worked in a real estate agency as an office assistant for 22 months – let me tell you the way these indiviuals conduct business – well THOSE vermin need to be regulated. It starts from the TOP DOWN – it might even start with getting a high school education first! That's what brought down this country – GREED on part of the realtors.

    January 4, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  2. Loren, Chicago

    Greed. Every economic problem facing the United States today is the result of the desire of a relative handful of Americans wanting more than they or their children could possibly use in a lifetime and taking actions that resulted in other Americans losing their livelihoods as the financial machinations bore fruit for that relative handful. Whether it was Walmart forcing US manufacturers to open overseas plants to reduce their labor costs so it could buy products at lower prices than its competitors and make the Walton family more money, speculators on Wall Street that brought down two major securities houses through illegal short-selling, or foolish politicians eliminating restrictions on lending that led to the mortgate crisis, the common theme was the desire of those behind these schemes to make more money than they could possibly ever use. The result is the same, however, squeeze more money out of the American middle class. And now we have a President who has the same idea to fund his so-called health care reform, squeeze the middle class (he will say that the tax burden will fall on the wealthy, but the wealthy are the ones with the tax shelters, not available to the middle class, and who will bear the burden when those wealthy taxes aren't enough? The middle class). Greed for money, greed for power.

    January 4, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  3. cy

    Our economy is based on falsehood. We don't make things, we make rules. Companies prosper, not by building a better product, but by borrowing mountains of money to buy out the competition. They then hold customers hostage with one-sided contracts or collusion that insures high prices and lousy service. Consumers don't sign checks because they like a product or service, they sign them because they are afraid of getting sued or because they don't feel there's any real choice. After we require people to buy horrible insurance policies from callous, greedy companies maybe we can pass a law to make people buy lousy cars, or invest in bonds that are worse than worthless. American capitalism is a giant lie, there is no FREE market in America. cy from arlington, va

    January 4, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  4. cy

    Is it just me, or was this country more prosperous when welfare was for poor people instead of for rich companies and their CEOs? cy from arlington, va

    January 4, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  5. JENNA

    What’s to blame for America’s economic demise?

    Lack of overnment regulation and GREED.

    This is what happens when the fox runs the hen house.

    Roseville CA

    January 4, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  6. jenny

    Why it is President Obama's fault. Some people are blaming him for eerything in the world why not our economic problems.

    January 4, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  7. David of Alexandria VA

    All of us - people who lived beyond their means by "wanting it now;" Financial institutions and agencies which lost the ability to understand theri own risk profiles, and government for not paying enough attention to the systemic risks which were building. We're all responsible and should all be accountable. Pointing fingers in "blame" without pointing a big one at ourselves is begging for this to happen again.

    January 4, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  8. cy

    The greedy, greedy rich and their pet prostitutes in Congress are responsible for America's economic problems. You can't protect consumers or workers because the hookers on the Hill turn every bill into a giveaway for the filthy rich.
    Also, the corporate owned media deserve part of the blame because they cheerlead for the rich and avoid any economic stories that point out how greedy, callous and selfish their corporate overlords have been acting.
    cy from arlington,va

    January 4, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  9. John from Alabama

    Jack: Going to war in the wrong nation; like Iraq, and spending $1.3 trillion. Passing Part D medicare and not paying for it. Doing away with paygo in Congress. Allowing business to do anything and everything it wanted to do regardless the consequence to the public. Allowing immoral practice of torture. Not looking at science facts and just burying your head in the sand. This was all brought to us via the republican administration and the Bush Administration..

    January 4, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  10. Dylan Raines

    I believe the blame for the decline and what will ultimately be the demise of the US economy is the same that has collapsed economies of empire's throughout history. A fiat monetary system where the currency is based on nothing except how much of it is in circulation can never last long-term.

    January 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  11. Willow, Iowa

    I could go on and on. Outsourcing overseas, banks without regulation, no credit regulation, labor unions that get greedy, an economy with a service industry, needing health care for everyone, lowering taxes for the rich, paying for these wars with money from China, needing Chinese goods because we don't make anything here anymore. A large percentage of workers making less than enough to take care of a family. We need a strong President and Congresss to take this country by the collar and change everything that needs changing. Even if it hurts a bit.

    January 4, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  12. Judie W. El Lago

    WELCOME BACK, and all good wishes for the New Year.

    Certainly the outsourcing is to blame....the greedy folks on wall street-the excessive spending by Americans, resulting in unbelieveable credit card debt-granting of work visa's for foreign workers, and much more. It is a new twist on "How do I love thee, oh let me count the ways". How can we circle the wagons when the horses are long gone, and there are far too many who opened the stable doors.

    January 4, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  13. cy

    Tax cuts for the rich; incentives for sending jobs overseas; no industrial plan to insure that we can still make things; a Congress who gives everything to the rich few at the expense of the overburdened many; a stupid and lazy public; a corporate owned media that strives to keep the public stupid and lazy; a country club conventional wisdom among our leaders that regards anyone with a real job as a peasant who deserves to be treated like a pack mule; a health policy that puts corporate profit above human life; an eagerness to let China cheat so that the rich can do business with them. Take your pick. cy from arlington, va

    January 4, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  14. Joanne B

    Who has been in power controlling the SPENDING since Jan 2007?
    What do you know it is the Democratic Congress.
    Joanne B

    January 4, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  15. Charles, Lansing, Michigan

    The more that wealth becomes concentrated in a very few the worse our economic situation becomes. It is basic economics that we need more and more people to take part in economic activity for the country to flourish.

    January 4, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  16. IKHAN from san jose ca

    Welcome back Jack.
    That's an easy one Jack.
    our economic demise stems from mismanagement of the financial sector, lack of adequate oversight & blunders like Iraq which literally bled the country almost dry.
    Pampering the untouchables- big business, lobbies & special interest groups has now to stop if we want to get back on our feet. Welfare of the American people has to take priority over all else.

    January 4, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  17. Jayne in NH

    Two words: outsourced jobs. Good paying jobs have been sent overseas in favor of minimum wage, service industry work. Trade is fine, but this is more like corporate rape.

    January 4, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  18. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    The list is long, Jack, but ultimately includes all Americans who had been living beyond their means – including this one. The important thing is that we don't let it happen again.

    January 4, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  19. Emden (Deep in the Heart of Hurst Texas)

    Will this list become a "deck of cards"?
    The repeal of the Glass-Steagill Act & the Community Re-investment Act were the root cause of this problem.
    And these individuals were the "inside guys" for the biggest bank heist in history (so far)!

    Phil Gramm
    Jim Leach
    Thomas J. Bliley, Jr
    Christopher Dodd
    Charles E. Schumer
    Office of Thrift Supervision
    Standard & Poors

    January 4, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  20. Conor in Chicago

    All you will probably need to do to answer this is read all of the posts on this forum. What do you notice? "It's the Democrats", "It's the Republicans". This nation is so busy blaming one side or the other that it misses the point that all of them are to blame to a certain extent. And the key point is that we are not going to get out of the woods until we as a nation agree as to the best way forward. It almost seems as if we are appling the principle of "divide and conquer" to ourselves.

    January 4, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  21. John ............. marlton, nj

    The Democrats are to blame. Their tax and spend philosophy since the 60's has ruined the 'american family' (requiring both parents to work, do the math if only one worked the gov't would collect substantially less taxes than it does now) and now Obama and his robinhood partners are distroying our children's future....

    When it is time to un-ring the bell.. it will be painful.. and there will be no sympathy ..so live it up while it lasts.

    January 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  22. Russ in PA

    One could argue that it is everyone's fault, since too many people keep voting in the same corrupt politicians. Of course, politicians have learned to scam the system, and promise everything to everyone, ensuring their rise to power.

    Unfortunately democracies seem to come apart on their own, in the sense that the citizens learn how to demand more and more, without regard as to how it gets paid for.

    You all should have voted for Ron Paul, as only a political class and citizenry willing to follow the Constitution will pull us out of this mess.

    January 4, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  23. John - Texas

    We the American people are the only ones to blame for.
    We elected – and KEEP RE-ELECTING – those bastards in Washington whose only interests are getting richer day by day and being re-elected next election. Until we stand up and clean up Washington – by NOT RE-ELECTING ANYBODY over there, no matter whoever is – we are going to stay on track to become another 3º world country and them – the politicians – richer and richer.
    Shame on us for not realizing that !!!

    January 4, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  24. Melissa

    Arrogance, lack of planning, and an insane belief that the rich will actually help people if they aren't taxed when we all know thats a load of garbage.

    January 4, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  25. Sherri-Illinois

    The PAST & PRESENT Administration of Bush and Obama! President Bush sat on his tush while this Economic train was gaining traction going DOWNWARD, and he did nothing to stop it from culminating into a Economic train wreck! President Obama took his eye off of fixing this Economic Crisis by introducing the Stimulus Package thats doing nothing but stimulating the pockets of both houses of Congress with earmarks, President Obama turned his focus off of the Economy and onto Healthcare reform AND now we have 35 Million people on food stamps! 16 Million unemployed Americans including 7 Million LONG-TERM unemployed. President Obama and Congress " We need JOBS" to fix this economic demise!!!

    January 4, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  26. Fred R DeLeon SR

    Can not blame any President for US economic demise as you name
    it. The ones should be accountable are The Congress and Senate.
    OBAMA IS NOT the most powerful man in America, our Congress and our Senate HOLD that power. Trouble is they don't know how to use it.
    Is very sad.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  27. Pastor Daniel Coper

    Well when a U.S. Governer accuses the goverment for the 911 attack, and the news mededia dosn't say a word. That is scary!!

    January 4, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  28. Calvin

    1. Deregulation
    2. Lack of enforcement of remaining regulations
    3. Cronyism and insider dealing
    4. Outsourcing, destroying our manufacturing and engineering base
    5. Greed, which was the main reason for points 1-4 above.

    Calvin, Modesto, CA

    January 4, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  29. Randy

    Simple. Greedy corporations controlling the media and goverenment.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  30. Jack Kramer in California

    It's George Bush's fault. Everything is his fault. It does not matter that the Democrats cnotrolled congress these last few years, and that Obama was part of that Congress. Everything can and will be entirely blamed on George Bush. Si se puede! Hope and change!

    January 4, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  31. Tom Bayliss, Bradenton,FL

    Corrupt companies, corrupt politicians, an incompetent Congress, the wars, endless borrowing, trade deficits and outsourcing have destroyed our economy. I am afraid it is tto late to fix these matters. Clinton signed NAFTA and Bush utilized it. Rest in Peace America.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  32. A. Smith, Oregon

    Welcome Back Jack!

    The Republican administration of Bush-Cheney entered office with a budget surplus, which they quickly drained with two foreign wars and creating the mega-abyss known as Dept. Homeland Security.

    Lacking enough war funds, they heavily borrowed from China and gutted essential gov. services such as repairing America's dilapidated public schools, bridges, canals, levees, dams, electrical grid, social services, veteran services and affairs.

    The economic morass is directly the result of Republican lawmakers marching lockstep with the Bush-Cheney doctrine.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  33. Eric Platt

    The collapse in the economy is directly linked to the transfer of jobs to third world countries with lower wage rates.
    As long as the government allows cheap goods into the country, the manufacturing base will never recover, and total economic collapse is inevitable.
    There should be a tariff on all imported goods to equalize wage rates. If it takes an hour to produce something and the wage rate is $1where it was manufactured when it would be $24 here, the tariff would be $23.
    This is not the Protectionism of the past. We would trade with anybody, but we would not ruin our own economy for their benefit.
    With a manufacturing base there can be no economy.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  34. Tom Hillsboro, Missouri

    I think in order for our form of capitalisum to work, there has to be a level
    playing field. This is not the case now. Our elected officials have been twicking the laws to favor large corporations for years. Example the healthcare debate and our senate, most of our senators should have property off signs tatooed on there forehead.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  35. Greg in Cabot, AR

    The answer is simply one word...GREED

    Everyone wants something for nothing.

    From the broker on Wall Street that strives to get rich from other investors losses to the consumer that wants high quality goods at the cheapest price, even though it might cause the loss of American jobs.

    But most of all, it is the American Taxpayer that wants social programs, two wars on terror, national health insurance, national security, a strong military, good roads, safe bridges, disaster relief and.....wait for it..........TAX CUTS

    Seems like everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to have die first.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  36. Paul in Orlando

    Gee, what happened in the year 2000, round about November, that might have caused this?

    Some economic theories sound better than they actually work out in practice.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  37. Laura

    You left out the obvious: we are spending money on two wars and the effect war has on the mood of a nation which has an effect on spending.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  38. Ed from California

    DEREGULATION is to blame. Regan started the deregulation concept, "Government is too big', We need less Government regulations. Less or no Government regulations will lead to prosperity."Trickle down economics".

    What did Ben Bernanke just say, "It's not lower interest rates that caused the economic downfall. It was because of NO Regulations".

    Hey, Ben. China, India,Mexico and others have taken our jobs, because congress (that was controlled by the Republicans) let the American corporations go over there. Cutting the throats of millions of Americans, and who by the way pay TAXES that allow the Government to operate.

    Deregulation started in 1979. And it took 30 years to poison America to death!

    Happy New Year!!

    January 4, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  39. Steve from Canada

    Unless you wish to blame each individual (which is foolish), you must look to the Leadership of the country to assign blame. The individuals in power over the demise of the economic model had to have seen this happening and were OK with it. They were adept enough to get their paydays from other sources (lobbyists, no bid contracts,etc) and didn't give a crap about the everyday American citizen..So we blame whomever is in power to-day for yesterday's ills. This starts the cycle over again, and dooms any hope of progressing for the future

    January 4, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  40. lou

    We've been fed a steady diet of America the Divine in every history book and twangy country song for as long as I can remember. We think we deserve it all. Cheap goods from China while our factories go bust. Cheap cars from Japan while our unions fight for yearly benefits and pay packages that would take care of a Japanese auto worker for a life time. We are our own worst enemy.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  41. Troy Fairview, Texas,

    Those politicians who have been entrusted to govern this great nation are the ones responsible for it's demise. They alone enacted legislation that has lead us down this path to destruction. No political party is immune from culpability and it continues with this new administration down the same fatally flawed path. We are in 2 wars now and my guess is that another one is soon to start in Yemen all because of a knee jerk response to one mad man being allowed to get on a plane with a bomb strapped to his underwear. Our glorious self serving politicians need to stop and think before they react this time. I realize that thnking is a foreign concept to them but they need to learn how to do it before it is too late.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  42. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    I think there is plenty of blame to go around. From the government fostering an environment encouraging banks to make irresponsible loans, to labor unions hamstringing our existing industries making American workers unable to economically compete with emerging countries, to individuals who justify self-indulgent, instant gratification lifestyles because they "deserve it", to the corrupt politicians extorting the American taxpayers and looking out for their own self-ineterest rather than their duty to their districts or the greater good for society. Collectively, we spent a decade mortgaging our future for what we can enjoy today, regardless of whether we could pay the bills when they come due. I wish I could say we have learned our lesson, but when our solutions to these problems, by those in power, is to "spend our way out of a recession", I have little hope.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  43. Hoosier Hillbilly Gnsbg,IN

    GREED!!! in government, big business, & finanical markets inc. banks
    "unconcern & apathy by the 'citizens' of the "USA"
    media not reporting it *like it REALLY is!!*
    =to put it all in a nutshell=
    The "Country" giving itself away ; 1st in industry & manufacturing ; 2nd
    in morals, family values, and virtue; & 3rd letting the government spend "US" into 'thirtieth century'.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  44. Tina Tx

    I put most of the blame on the Republican party for keeping good wages away from American workers. They do not want unions and want you to work many hours and if at all possible no benefits and if you complain they tell you the next day your jobs are going to China or Mexico cause they will not complain.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  45. Kay, Chicago

    In the 1920s, the Republicans said, "Get rid of regulations, get out of the way of business, and the free market will efficiently allocate resources. A rising tide will lift all boats."

    Result: the Great Depression.

    In the 2000s, the Republicans said, "Get rid of regulations, get out of the way of business, and the free market will efficiently allocate resources. A rising tide will lift all boats."

    Result: the Great Recession.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  46. Chuch in Warren Ohio

    Jack: It all comes down to greed & no regulations.
    Big money will always have access to do what ever they want to.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  47. Julie - Kentucky

    Greed, unregulated banks and two wars.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  48. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    You cannot stay on top when you become fat, complacent, content and effuse the attitude that you have reached the pinnacle of civilization. Every other country in the world has been improving itself and chisling away at our base of business and yet we feel that he have achieved everything as a society and therefore do not need to compete. The moment you stop realizing this is a competition and that everyone is gunning for the guy at the top, you start losing ground. We have lost our competitve edge in so many ways because we feel that our past entitles us to an eternity free from want and all we need to do is figure out how to divide up all the spoils to make everyone happy and comfortable. We don't need a nanny-state, we need people who understand hard work and sacrifice are necessary for success.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  49. Greg, Ontario

    I blame spineless politicians and the fact that lobbying a politician is legal. They were lobbied into getting rid of regulations that would have protected you from the burst of the real estate market and the near collapse of the Banking system. It's that same politicians that started the wars and aggressions in other countries that you have no right to be in. As for China, are you saying they are the only ones willing to buy your treasury bills or Bonds? Why would you ever sell such things to a country that refuses to float thier currency? The politicians are giving away your country and you put them in power so blame yourselves.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  50. ed

    The congress regardless of party is to blame. They have done nothing to fix problems only words and let everything get worse. What ever happened to the need for alternative energy sources. Nothing going on now or the past 10 years. Gas prices are high again. Now our deficit is growing faster than anyone could imagine, and unfortuanately what i see in our future is war.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  51. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    I think that Americans have lost faith in themselves and in their ability to improve our economic situation. We have been betrayed by our own financial system, by our President and Congress, and by ourselves as we fight each other. President Bush has left President Obama a mess that will take years to improve, and it only gets worse as our political environment looks more and more like bare-knuckles wrestling match. Our government, Wall Street, and ourselves are to blame for this mess–and only we can fix it.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  52. Ed

    Globalization and the free market. Foreign workers can and will work for less. Equilibrium will be acheived. And I'm not sure we can do anything about it except to become more efficient or work for less.


    January 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  53. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    A Republican will tell you that it is Obama. A Democrat will point the finger at Bush. And anyone willing to risk their public life will put the blame on us; each and every one of us who think more about our rights than our responsibilities.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  54. Roger

    Simple! It's called greed.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  55. Jane (Minnesota)

    There's not just one thing, Jack.

    People more and more seem to want to have it all without actually working for it. Add to it the there is more of an atmosphere of greed in people (All for me & none for you).

    The greed is driven by an out of control Wall Street that has applied both of these ideals to how they run Wall Street.

    This has led to Corporations moving good paying manufacturing & technical jobs over to other countries where it's easier to exploit workers and did not receive any consequences for doing this.

    The final ingredient is our political system that has also adopted these same ideals so now we have the mess that we have. Both major parties are guilty of this. It's become such a large moving boulder – it's going to be hard to change the behavior.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  56. Al, Lawrence KS

    Greed. Not just the ordinary kind of greed, but the really awful, Mr. Potter kind of greed. Getting rich off of the misery of others kind of greed. It applies to banks, politicians, health insurers and CEOs that are either too big to fail or too powerful and connected to stop.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  57. vdh

    We don't know how to make anything...we just consume! Sorry but it's true.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  58. Don From Belleville, Ontario

    War, war, and more war. That is the reason the USA is in economic demise. All that money wasted on Iraq, Afghanistan and ugly covert operations all over the world, has meant that those funds literally go up in smoke, and only borrowed money is left to improve the lives of Americans. Your arrogant view that USA style democracy is best for every country is pathetic. It is not even working any more in the USA because of your bastardization of capitalism into a greedy, rich only version of what used to work wonderfully for everyone.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  59. chaney, La.

    We noticed and commented on every down turn that has happened and wondered were we the only ones who noticed. The loss of manufacturing jobs, the huge banks gobbling up our community banks, the inflated housing market, Corp.forcing early retirement, There were many signs, we are just everyday people who payed attention, but did"nt know what to do about it...... I live in North Louisiana we are sitting on top of the biggest gas field in Nth America,we need to get on with developement and partner with private enterprise and create new jobs around this industry..... No one is connecting the dots, does that sound familiar?

    January 4, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  60. Mode (PDX)

    Jack, don't take this personally; but the baby boomers are 100% responsible for the economic demise. Baby boomers effectively took over the USA, ran it into the ground and are now playing stupid–like they don't know they are the most untalented businesspeople this Country has ever known.

    Its not the fault of Democrats or Republicans, its the fault of both and the generation which propounded a culture of selfishness and irresponsibility. The USA, after the baby boomer cultural revolution, celebrates mediocrity rather than excellence and is completely codependent on the corruption in Washington–which led to the trade and tax policies which sped the economic demise.

    Baby boomers had great music, but when it comes to walking the walk–they proved to be all talk.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  61. Brandon in Alaska

    Developing nations are the cause, however "blame" is not the correct term to use. Globally, there is only so much Wealth to go around; at our peak, we held a sizable chunk. We still do, but by nature, the more prosperous developing countries become, the less of the pie America will have to consume.

    Until Americans are willing to take a step backwards and be more falmily-oriented and bring their costs of living down, we will continue to lose jobs and our overall standard of living will continue to decline.

    In a nutshell, the American Dream is to blame...

    Brandon in Alaska

    January 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  62. Coby Sedgwick

    We have become a society, worlwide, that bases our needs off what we see on TV. When the reality of what we should be doing and trying to achieve is not based on Hollywood.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  63. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Buchanan never lets the facts get in the way of an agenda. In the 8 years, of George W Bush's presidency the countries debt more than double the debt it had taken 224 years to incur before he took office. The Bush Regime overspent revenue income buy two million dollars every day for over 2,900 days. What does the country have after Bush? Better schools? NO; better international relations? NO; better infrastructure? NO; better border security? NO. To help balance the budget I’m sure Buchanan will stop and return all monies he received over and above from he’s contributed to Social Security and Medicare.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  64. Johnny Chagdes (Los Angeles)

    Hi Jack –

    I think two words express the demise of our economy ... GREED & POWER at all levels of the Corporate and Political hierarchy.

    Since there is no transparency into either the boardroom or Capital Hill deals that have sent all of the American jobs elsewhere, it is difficult to ascertain the exact root causes; how convenient.

    It is good that some of the bailout money is finally reaching the neighborhoods of Los Angeles. However, the great majority of the workers that I have seen employed are not American. Why are there no checks and balances to see that this work goes to an American citizen?

    Seems like business as usual, the government is throwing more money at areas that are having financial issues, however, they won't even lift a finger to see who is getting hired or engage in practices (e-FILE) that ensure that Americans are getting these jobs.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  65. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I think Wall Street and the banks are to blame for where we are today. We definitely would have been in a depression if the was not for the taxpayer money bailing them out of the mess they created. They were allowed to operate in a greedy atmosphere with little or no laws to stop them. When you have companies that are so large that when and not if they fail everything else starts falling like dominoes there is something wrong that definitely needs to be changed immediately. Wall Street is still on the same road only this time they are about to run into a brick wall called disaster with a tank full of taxpayers' money. There will be no more fuel left to get them started up again. We will go the way of past world empires like the Romans, having destroyed ourselves.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  66. Carl D.

    All the Scum-Bag people in office right now, worthless, just worthless. It's almost not worth voting anymore, 1 is just as bad as the other.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  67. Ken M, Millington MI.

    Hello Jack. Happy New Year. Well all i can say to Mr Buchanan's Statistics is who was in charge during those last ten years? Answer President Bush and the Grand ole Party. The very same party who today has become the party of no! and are now trying like hell to paint themselves as fisical conservatives. People should never forget how badly they hurt our economy and country.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:54 pm |


    I believe the mentality of "SPEND WITHOUR RESPONSIBILITY" is the underlying casue, both in the private and public sectors. I have a small business and cannot use DEFICIT SPENDNG like our government does. If i don't have the money, I simply cannot buy what I want.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  69. Cheryl

    Well, let me see... Who was President from 2000 – 2008? Who had the majority in Congress?


    January 4, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  70. Chad N.

    Plain and simple.....Hubris is to blame.

    When a nation consideres itself infallible no matter what they do it doesnt take long for that fallacy to be shown in full light.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  71. Richard, Syracuse

    We need to put the blame on the Politicians...not the Democrats or the Republicans but the Politicains that have sold out their ideals to Corporate Leaders.

    Until such time as our Elected Officials spend the time, and effort for the betterment of the PEOPLE of the US, we will continue down this path.

    The USA, the Very Best Politicians money can buy. China can not even touch us on that idea.

    January 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  72. Dave in MO

    George W Bush... They blame everything on that guy.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  73. Mark

    Jack, you've heard of the "empty nest" syndrome? Well, how about the "empty promises" syndrome? The one that most of Obama's supporters are suffering from right now. He's not getting us out of the middle east or putting Americans back to work. Hell, he can't even keep reality show nuts out of the White House, or keep us safe in the sky. I'd ask, "Who wants to invest in a country where the 'Yes, We Can' turned into 'Nope, I Guess We Can't"?


    January 4, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  74. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, the "demise" results from a combination of factors that have influenced the economic environment overall. Excessive tax burdens, governmental regulation and a steady drift toward Socialism have all combined to stifile free enterprise and impair the entrepreneurial spirit upon which America was founded. Lift these burdens and we'll be back on track.

    Gary H. Boyd in Scottsdale, Arizona

    January 4, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  75. Andy in Vancouver, BC

    Jack, I think you listed all of the factors that got the US where it is now. Overall, I think it can be summed up in a general feeling of entitlement. Our parents and grandparents worked hard to build America up. My generation squandered it by living beyond our means because we felt entitled to it, and that we were all too good to work at some jobs that we thought were beneath us. In the end, hubris and lack of drive to back it up got us to where we are now.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  76. Jennifer - Winnipeg

    You start with Bush not putting the kibosh on manufacturers who outsourced a ton of jobs to China; add in the big banks that knowingly gave mortgages to people who couldn't afford them; stir in the greed of the Automobile Industry; bake for 1 hr at 350 degrees; then ice with huge amounts of deficit spending; sprinkle with two totally unnecessary wars; the outcome being a bitter pill that the U.S., not to mention the other countries that this affects, will have to choke on for quite some time. Unfortunately, there is no easy fix to this dilemma.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  77. Stan - Tacoma, Wa.

    The US House and Senate. They're the best money can buy.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  78. Paul P

    Loss of the manufacturing sector is at the core of alot of the issues we face. America has been prosperous for too long and greed and arrogance has rotted the fabric the values the country was founded on. In the new global economy, America found itself ill prepared to compete with other countries who's work ethic and ability to work for five dollars a day cannot be matched. Innovation in technology is nice and all, but with sagging education our population base is not able to handle that field well either. Its a bleak outlook.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  79. Darren

    No viable oversight or regulations gorerning their less-than-legal activities, and I wondeer how long this artificially inflated bubble will sustain the fractured Stork Market?

    January 4, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  80. Dave , Munhall , Pa.

    Bush / cheney / GOP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 4, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  81. Luci - Pekin, IL.

    Bush – Bush – Bush
    You cannot give the wealthy tax breaks, ship jobs out of our country, have unnessary wars, etc. and etc.
    You have to have middle class jobs to keep our country going.
    The wealthy do not spend money, they only ship it out to Swiss banks, so they don't have to pay taxes on it. That cannot be an option. We need them to pay taxes too, not just the working people.
    We have a young man in the house of Representives. He tried to get his father's money shipped there. How can we win when they are doing that.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  82. Dakota Don from Akra

    I believe that would be 'you're doing a heck of a job, Bushie'.

    Not that Obamna is doing what it takes to unwrap the car from the tree and put it in the repair shop.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  83. frankie

    The trickle-down theory.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  84. Tom Bulger

    Rich people used to be productive with their wealth. They used to build railroads, industries and technologies. Now they use their wealth to lobby tax cuts, evade paying taxes all together, and avoid shouldering their share of responsibility. They have become con artists like Wall Street and the Health Insurance Industry. The constant leeching without ever giving anything back is bleeding the middle class dry.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  85. MadDog in California

    How just blame Buchanan and his friends! But Hey... lets look at history, GOP have been in power longer than Democratics, and during their time, what have they accomplished? The rich got richer.. Oh, yes the democratics are just too blame too, for the sloppy go along boys and cover their ears, eyes and mouth. And finally...Bush last eight years was the pin that broke the camels back! The last decade is the worst I've seen. And you cannot blame the new administration, they are still looking for the mops to clean it up! I have more faith in Democratics, if they stop acting like the victims, and start standing up to the GOPS!!!

    January 4, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  86. Kevin Lunenburg MA.


    You can tell a lot about a society by the magazines that it reads. When you and I were young, the magazine on the coffee table was "Life". As the post war generation was coming of age, the magazine was "People". Then a few years later everyone was reading "Us". Now at the checkout line in the supermarket the magazine is "Self". The focus of our society in general doesn't extend beyond ones own self interest. We no longer ask "... what we can do for our country.." but rather what our country can do for us. We want it all, we want it now and we are entitled to it.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  87. T. G. from the virgin islands

    Bush and his partner-in-crime, Darth Vader.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  88. K

    Two words–corporate greed. These overpaid executives are completely out of touch and only itnerested in lining their own pockets. What ever happened to "made inthe USA"? Why are our jobs continuing to be outsourced–this adds to job loss, unemployment, housing crisis, increased debt, increased crime. Why are illegal aliens given jobs when a legal US citizen should be given the job first? To top all of this we have an irresponsible government who spends, lines all legislation with pork barrrels, refuses to pass clean bills and is interested only their own reelection. Corporate America is now running our government.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  89. Paul, New Port Richey, Fl

    It's the last TWO decades, Jack. You just had to leave Slick Willy out of the mix. He lit the fuse on the housing time bomb and ignored the terror threats from Islamic Jihadis. Roll the incompetance of administrations for the last 18 years and you have your answer.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  90. Julia

    There's no mystery about how we got into this miserable place. I worked hard to help get Ronald Reagan into office and then sadly watched as manufacturing, family farming, the oil patch – you name it – were destroyed by their "trickle down" economics that left everyone except the rich with trickles of income. Bush/Cheney followed their course only on steroids. The media, in my view, has let those people off the hook and allowed the republicans in Congress who aided and abetted them brag about how they are going to get back in power. Good God. If they get back in power, what more will they destroy! Why does everyone in the media act as if those people are not responsible for our condidtion?

    January 4, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  91. Sue From Idaho

    This is a no brainier Jack, too many imports coming in and too may jobs going out = economic disaster.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  92. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack..................Please do this and your readers should do this and all
    of you questions will be answered.
    Read "'The architects of Ruin"" read that book
    Oh how sad you will see is our do nothing congess who now wants control over the Fed.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  93. Rick Medina,OH


    Welcome back, and Happy New Year!

    It is remarkable that we live in a nation of about 5% of the world's population, and once produced nearly one-third of all goods and services. It would be conceited and ignore the aspirations of the other 95% of the world's population to assume we could sustain that feat.

    They will write about our success in the history books. The historians will also be very unkind to George W. Bush, who in record time converted surpluses to deficits, started two wars costing over $1 trillion, and screwed up just about everything he touched.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    January 4, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  94. Rob in NC

    A lack of morals and ethics from the top to the bottom. People in this country barely care about themselves, let alone their fellow man. We do whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want – because we are the "greatest" nation. Rob in NC

    January 4, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  95. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Greed,mismanagement,poor judgement and believing in our own infallibility contributed to the downturn for the US. Many lessons are there to be learned from the Roman Empire. I forget who coined this phrase,"Those who don't learn from history,live to repeat it." That is what's happening now.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  96. Mike

    The public blames the White House, the White House blames Wall Street and Wall Street blames the public. Personally, I blame the idiots in all three who made it happen, allowed it to happen and then watched it happen and take my job and 401(k) along with it.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  97. JaneE

    Lots of things. The idea that free market forces will bring about good outcomes for the majority of people is a good place to start. The idea that we have a level playing field for all is another. So is assuming that selfishness and greed have practical limits. Thinking that politicians and pundits will put aside partisan ideology for the good of the country has a part in this as well. A large part of this country is delusional. This economic demise is a logical consequence of the actions taken by public and private entities in this country for the last 30 years. Americans still haven't learned from the mistakes of the past. If you repeat the 1920's you get the 1930's again.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  98. Roland Garcia

    1. National Karma. Per 2 illegitimate presidential elections, i.e. 2000 = 9/11, 2004 = Katrina aftermath– for starters... Iraq War, torture and tea bagger regression-ists for enders.

    2. Multi-National Corporate Lobby. Revoke corporate-person-hood and their ability to petition our government like individual people. They're not. Our constitution never meant for corporate lobbyists nor corporate undue influence in 'We the Peole's' government.

    3. Neo-Conservative Republican Greed. 12 years of a republican congressional majority along with 8 years of hsuB/cHeney administration– ignited the initial tax cutting Raygun Revolver shooting deregulatory worms; which hollowed out our pillars of equity and justice.

    4. Dumb Religion. When our education is underfunded and dumbed down to the point that even presidential candidates feel obligated to state they do not believe in scientific methodology but rather a faith based creationism where anything is possible without provable documented facts: then it's easy believe in whatever they say now, not what they said yesterday or say tomorrow. Ultimately, we're praying to be fooled with– and we were.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  99. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    It's time to drop the word blame and start the action necessary to turn this mess around; We could get laws like some countries that we must manufacture major products in this country if companies want to sell it here. Japan did this for their cash for clunkers program, duh. This is where the tax base is highest because the more we make the higher the taxes. Secondly, stop buying any product made in China, NOW!!!!

    January 4, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  100. Don From Belleville, Ontario

    War and arrogance. First and foremost, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have drained the economic well dry, and are daily destroying the compassion and mental health of the USA military and the USA public. When the soldiers eventually return home, they are changed for the worse, and have great difficulty reintegrating with their families and US society. The second factor is the arrogance of the USA government in somehow believing that the USA system of capitalism and democracy should be adopted by third world countries, when the world can see that the greedy, for the rich only, politically gridlocked US version is leading to the demise of the once great American empire.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  101. Aquoen

    Corruption and greed in high places are to blame for America's economic demise also. A good ex would be of the largest tobacco lawsuit in Mississippi. Major scandal has resulted. So far, judges and lawyers have been prosecuted. Makes you wonder how smoky this situation will become. Too many of the wrong people are making decisions that only benefit themselves and not the stakeholders! And they are given a slap on the wrist! Not enough responsibility or accountability is taken for America.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  102. Mr. D

    Are the good times really over for good? They will be if we as a country do not start looking after our own interests. We must start playing hardball on the economic front. Let's stop being consumers of cheap foreign goods and start to fire up our own industries again. It is a tough, tough world out there and we better harden up to face the challenges of this century. Our government needs a large scale overhaul to be better to address the ongoing problems of the 21st century.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  103. ken latta

    you can bet spending a trillion on the health care crap wont make us competitive again either. the president said many times....we have to spend billions on health care to keep us from going bankrupt.....like that makes a lot of sense. guess they teach vodoo economics where he went to school.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  104. Dennis in Grand Rapids, MI

    Well, we kinda made the bed we're sleeping in. That's what happens when we outsource jobs to overseas companies, and then bring in people on H1B Visas to take the jobs that are still here.

    Never-mind the mess of deregulating everything and starting the two un-necessary wars by the Republicans. Pretty sad for the party of "fiscal constraint," while they were in charge it was like letting a herd of pigs loose at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  105. Ramon in Santa Clara, CA

    Republicans have run amok. "No new taxes" has become a rallying cry for the Republicans, who have mostly been in charge for the past 30 years.

    Americans have forgotten that taxes pay for our military, roads, levies, airports, damns, bridges, education system, etc... All are starved for money, and it's no coincidence that all are overstretched right now. Corporations have loopholes to avoid paying taxes, and the "patriots" on the right who stand by our troops have forgotten that paying taxes is also a duty we owe our country. People want services, but abhor taxes. Deficits result. Go figure.

    On top of that, Republican policies like free trade, outsourcing, and a highly regressive tax structure have concentrated wealth in the top 5%, while the rest of America has gone into debt to maintain their living standards.

    Say what you will about the tax and spend Democrats; the borrow and spend Republicans have been much, much worse.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  106. Michael Alexandria, VA

    Buchanan's screed fails to take China's and the world's growth into account. Indeed, the failure to increase H-1B visas has led to talent and jobs staying in India rather than coming here, so Buchanan's nativisim is as much to blame as trade policy, if not more so. What is most to blame is the Bush tax cuts, which allowed China to buy debt rather than American products in order to sell to us. Reversing Bush's tax cuts on not only the wealthy, but the upper middle class, is the only way out of this.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  107. Maria

    I think the analogy to 'Nero fiddled while Rome burned' is a good one.

    We've done it for many years(citizens and government officials)) and so here we are...on fire economically, culturally, personally, politically...and no fire extinguishers in sight. So either get out the marshmallows and watch the flames, or become mega-active in your politics, or do like I'm considering...moving to a stable country.

    Good to have you back,Jack!


    January 4, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  108. Maria

    No,no, & no. How can we possibly have younger people w/fresh and forward- looking ideas and strategies when all we get are the nuts that don't fall far from the tree?



    January 4, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  109. HJO

    Evidently no one is to blame. Have you heard or seen anyone getting prosecuted for anything related to the demise??

    If anyone gets jail time it should be the incompetent regulators.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  110. Willard Gatzke

    There is more than enough blame to go around, but it all centers on greed

    When is enough enough? Welcome to the new America, where if you aren't number one, you're number two.

    Canon City, CO

    January 4, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  111. kevin duros

    We, the american people are to blame for letting this happen. We put our faith on people who we vote in to office who care nothing more than to collect their pay check, take bribes and cheat on their spouse.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  112. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Jack –

    The blame lies squarely on Congress. The liberal/global economic policies and anti-US growth tax policies have chased manufacturing offshore in startling numbers. Free trade proponents are accelerating a worldwide redistribution of wealth, power, and economic
    development, all outside the US. Entitlements are already bankrupting the country, yet Congress throws even more dollars into ever-expanding programs of dependancy without blinking an eye.

    Buchannan is right – the Romans never saw it coming either!!

    January 4, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  113. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    The people to blame for the demise of the economic system are in fact Pat Buchanan, Dick Cheney, and the many other Republicans that supported the Bush presidency. I must admit I take what Buchanan and Cheney have to say with more than a little question since most of the time they are not worth the time to listen to for any reason. I just consider them as two old losers that never did know what they were talking about and do not deserve to get my attentiomn. Had the American voters not followed the ideas of the worst president in our history our economy would be in much better shape today.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  114. Smelly B. Hind

    Three words...George Walker Bush.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  115. J.L from NJ

    It is pure GREED Jack. We need a Robin Hood who will rob the rich to settle the debts of the poor, uneducated fools who played right into the hands of these greedy people. They sent jobs overseas for cheap labor not caring for the loyal employees who made them big enough to be able to do this. They killed the American dream and i don't think we can ever get it back.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  116. katiec Pekin, IL

    Government mistakes and mismanagement.
    And to add to all our problems you have a political party who obstructs anything and everything regardless of benefits and merits. In times of need our politicians must work together but when a party puts priorites on destroying our president, party first and win at any cost
    the future will be dismal.
    Until we demand that our government starts totally representing the people and our country, unites in bringing our nation back to the greatness we once had accomplishments will be few.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  117. julie kracsovics

    We can only blame ourselves–ourselves for our own greed, for electing a president in the 80s that encouraged greed, a Congress in the 90s that was more interested in a president's zipper than in governance of a nation & its security, & in the 2Ks allowing the Supreme Court to elect the nation's president who allowed two attacks on this nation, one physical & one financial...& 42per cent us us would still rather have Bush as president than Obama? Who are we anyway????? What are we thinking?????

    January 4, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  118. Frank from Connellsville, PA

    One word Jack: Greed. We looked away, changed the rules, removed controls so more could worship at the altar of the almighty dollar.

    January 4, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  119. Hardy Takhar

    How about a simple GEORGE BUSH and a simple REPUBLICAN PARTY driven by greed greed and more greed

    January 4, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  120. bob frompa


    January 4, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  121. Adem jemal, Oakland California

    Jack, happy New Year! The answer is very simple which is the Financial System. Americans are tired of with post crises regulations. The financial system had allowed the banks and insurance companies to abuse American people and get away with it.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  122. Joanne from Medina

    Don't know what to blame for current downturn but seems to me we have to stop talking about the economy as if it's a dead patient. We still have a lot going for us and we should talk more about that. We need to rebuild confidence.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  123. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Greed on wall street and our idiots in Washington that have allowed American companies to ship jobs overseas, the U.S. can't survive being a service industry, it may take awhile but we'll become a third world country within the next fifty years unless we stop the export of jobs.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  124. Greg Turman

    Look at the "state" of California. They had economic difficulties years before it became popular. Their high taxes ran business and jobs to other states/countries. Dem governor Gray Davis was kicked out & replaced by movie star Arnold theTerminator.

    Now, the federal government wishes to spread this wonderful business model to the other (49) states.

    Punish success & reward failure.

    ps; during the '90's, Bill & Al were in the whitehouse. NAFTA was signed, free trade with China was signed and the Kyoto protocal (1997) to end global warming was in conviently over looked.
    In addition, during this time, Freddie & Fannie REALLY started passing out the money to un -qualified applicants, a federal government directive.


    January 4, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  125. Ann from Charleston, S.C.

    The cyclical nature of the economy.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  126. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    Tell me something. Who was in charge for at least the first half of the last decade, THE REPUBLICANS. Please, give me a break. Who was in charge during the 1920's, the Republicans. Coincidence?? I think not. Whenever there is a big economic melt down, the Republicans are at the forefront of causing it.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  127. Bud Rupert, Reston, VA

    You diagnosed the patients problem. Now what's the cause and what's the cure? Their will be thousands of theory's and plenty of blame to pass around Jack. But their seems to be a law of inevitible decline at work ..... It could be that simple

    We had a great run with our smoke stack industrialized society making the best products on the planet for 200 years. But that's over.

    Now the United States (like all great past nation powers) is on the decline and will have to work hard just to hold it's own.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  128. Chris in Philadelphia

    Its simple. Greed. Spending money you don't have, giving loans to anyone that walks in the door, irresponsible government policies and spending have contributed to a decade of short sighted decision making focused on short term gains not long term stability.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  129. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,I would have to say labor unions are to blame in some part for driving jobs out of the country and causing plant shut downs.The only thing unions are good for these days is to protect the non- productive and those that need to fired.When the union asked for 20 dollars an hour to sweep the floor,and once they get the 20 dollars an hour to sweep the floor,still won't sweep the floor correctly or not sweep it all,something has to give!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  130. Denis Duffy

    Arrogant, entrenched, bribed politicians in Washington. Plain and simple.

    Denis Duffy
    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  131. Ken in Mt

    It looks like the policy of giving tax breaks to the corporate interests who then took the extra resources (generated by not passing on the break or up grading the business) and used it for executive compensation has come home to roost.
    The problem is that there is no upper end to greed and no long term business plans in the US in the Words of Dave Mathews:" Go on take the money and run"

    January 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  132. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    To be frank Jack. China, India, and all the other outsourcing countries most industies moved to for cheaper labor and now we are getting what we pay for.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  133. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    In a word (at least I think it's a word): Corporatocracy. Large corporations are buying senators and congresspeople and are constantly lobbying to dismantle the Federal Government. It seems like every time somebody gets a hold of enough power and money to run his own little feudal state he complains about the central government getting in his way. This is why NEED a strong Federal Government–to keep those corporate vandals from stealing every last cent from the taxpayer money with government contracts filled with waste and tax kickbacks for themselves and their cronies.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  134. Eugene, Myers Flat, CA

    Happy New Year Jack,
    Our economic problems began decades ago, when our legislators decided to outsource American jobs. Congress was and is distracted, by corruption, greed and power, so who cared what happened to the good old economy. We can fix this, by refusing to vote for any incumbants in 2010 and 2012 and stop all outsourcing. Otherwise, it will be business as usual Jack.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  135. Bill from Greensboro

    Wall street will fear this! Economists 'pooh-pooh' this.
    What is needed is some old fashioned protectionism. Tax incentives for manufacturers to remain domestic. Stiff tariffs on imports to level the playing field for domestic manufacturers.
    We don't HAVE to have a 'New World Order' – a 'One World Economy'! The marketplace doesn't HAVE to be infinite! It CAN be finite!
    If a business moves its factory to Vietnam and hires a worker for $2.00/day, that worker still won't be able to buy a Buick, only another bowl of rice or another chicken in the marketplace.
    Wall Street/Washington has to make manufacturing in this country MORE attractive than moving off-shore. Period.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  136. Karl from SF, CA

    How many ways can you spell republican? Pat Buchanan must be the only honest Republican left. The disasters he lists were under GOP rule and even at the end; their only solution was more tax cuts. Is that ignorance or retardation? Now the bankers are holding out and they are the real key to economic growth. Remember, the bankers are Republicans and they make money no matter what happens to the rest of us.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  137. Michael H. of Albuquerque, NM

    It is by design: The stated plan was that different parts of the world would be assigned different roles of industry and commerce in a unified global system. The continued preeminence of the United States and the relative independence and self-sufficiency of the United States would have to be changed... in order to create a new structure, you first have to tear down the old, and American industry was one example of that.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  138. Al Bledsoe in Dallas

    Greed and get rich quick schemes are to blame.

    Also, an abnormal reliance on the stock market forces public companies to show growth (10% or better). But, since companies cannot innovate fast enough growth is done through mergers and acquisitions. This combines into cost cutting and holding the line on profit margins at the demise of the worker. Workers are more productive due to automation, but have no time to invent new ideas and implement efficiencies. Education is stymied, with China turning out 10 times more post-graduates and PhD's. Nobody wants to work, so they get fat and lazy and demand more than what they can pay. Customer service is degraded by those that can be found to man the phones and also by those demanding service they are not entitled to get. Consumer's now cheat when and where they can. Morals, values and heart are all involved here, Jack.

    But it was all prophesied before at 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Read it!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  139. Jason Wood

    Human nature and human stupiditiy killed our economy. Why don't we question our business leaders when they have a hard time deciding between saving 20 jobs at 50k a piece (1 million dollars) or cutting 5 executives salary and benefits package by 200k each when they all are going to make several million each year anyway? We are focused on our government being the source of tyranny its too bad that we have missed where the true source is and thats the leaders and CEOs in business. The tree of liberty could use the watering of the blood of our corporate tyrants.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  140. Ken in NC

    Greed and stupidity within the financial and manufacturing sector is responsible for it all. Companies have moved their manufacturing overseas due to lower labor cost and increase profits. Companies are not concerned about the survival of this country. Their only concern is profits at all cost.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  141. Bertil

    Who was in charge of washington this decade again, Oh George W Bush.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  142. Rita Stone, NYC

    Three words, Jack: George W. Bush.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  143. roger long

    It take some time to list all the individual reasons.
    To sum it all up, however, is GREED!

    Roger Long
    Costa Mesa, CA

    January 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  144. Pat Evans

    It's all Andy Reid & Donovan McNabb's fault!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  145. Chauncey Farrell

    Bush and the GOP

    January 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm |

    When you voted in Bush.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  147. Harsh Naik

    Bush's deregulation policy is the major reason.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  148. Neall

    What's to blame? Do you really need to ask? A decade of troubling economic policies from the legacies of Bush Sr. and Clinton, coupled with gross mismanagement from George W. and a whole-hearted embrace of the free-market principles. We did this to ourselves, Jack, by failing to remember that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  149. Kristin

    Former President Bush and the republicans in our government are responsible for the economic demise in the US.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  150. Keith

    We The People.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  151. Colleen Welch

    George W. Bush, et al

    January 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  152. Jesse

    Simple Jack, George W Bush.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  153. Ben

    one word... Complacency.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  154. Ralph

    Republican economic policy.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  155. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, hard to pinpoint any one thing. I think it is a result of several things, including the slide of the country further into a welfare state, as more and more people realize they can get the government to support them, and take care of their "needs". Add a declining sense of personal pride/responsibility, throw in a government that wants socialism, and an unhealthy government deficit spending plan and pretty soon you have "The Decline of the American Dream". Bottom line is, the people are ultimately responsible, and fewer and fewer of them are willing to do anything about it, except hold out their hands for the government handouts.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  156. Magnum

    George Bush's war in Iraq and Afghanistan. George Bush's Tax cut to the rich and big business.

    The War is the single reason why our economy is in a depression.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  157. Dan Barrett

    One word, BUSH

    January 4, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  158. Linda in Arizona

    Pat Buchanan? Sure he's bright, but he's also a racist bigot. Well, never mind. The cheneybush administration is to blame for starting a bunch of illegal, expensive wars, and for stealing from the American people with no-bid contracts to their war criminal friends. Then there's Wall Street. Need we say more?

    January 4, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  159. Gigi Oregon

    I think you gave us the answer in your lead up to the question. It isn't often I would believe anything Pat Buchanan had to offer but in this case it goes along with some of my observations of the past ten years.
    Each week I learn more that creep-ed into being while we sank deeper into a "fallen country" by greed. Calling people unAmerican if it sounded critical of the Republican party . But when did these changes occur.... I think Pat Buchannan hit the nail on the head. Thank you to one Republican. No thanks to the churches ("In God we trust/faith) who supported the Red party. Shame on the churches who give a percent of our tithe to republican lobbyist. They will never see my tithe again, it is going to feed and heal the poor which has increase in numbers the last ten years...

    Poor job market ,real estate market, banks, propaganda/false wars, some churches, and Bush tax cuts. I guess we could blame it on the greed of corporate America. They seem to be the only ones who have profited.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  160. JohnnyAce

    I know this won't make the air but our outsourcing of jobs to other countries and the abuse of banks and financial institutions got us into this mess. {{-_-}}

    January 4, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  161. David A Whitaker

    Jack it those people up there on Wall Street and the other Finacial Aea. They have out price this country in every sector such as; housing, cars,credit cards,food every part of our life we have been over priced. But no one have recieved any pay increase, I am on disablility and we don't get any cost of living increase. Prices are still going up.


    January 4, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  162. ray

    corporate, government and priate GREED.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  163. Steve RI


    I think Buchanan's statement says it all

    January 4, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  164. Christopher Buehler

    Too much spending during the good times led to not enough savings during the rainy days. And everyone wonders why individual Americans did the same thing. That's some role model the U.S. government is playing...

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  165. Richard

    GREED is the answer! Greed IS the answer! Greed is the ANSWER!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  166. L. Schiffman

    Jack, the answer to your question is a four-letter word: BUSH.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  167. John

    The answer to the question posed can be found in two simple words – George Bush

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  168. Debbie, Florida

    One word, Jack: greed.
    One footnote: greed and American exceptionalism fed daily by the Bush/Cheney administration to the public and to corporate America.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  169. David Bakody Nova Scotia

    Welcome home Jack, bout time the US of A stops telling both themselves and the world they are the greatest country on earth and start saying they are #2, 3 or even 4 and try harder.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  170. Ben Click

    Per Merriam-Webster, demise is defined as "The end of existence or activity; termination". Jack, are we to understand that you think that American economic activity has completely ceased? Thank you for contributing to the decline (not demise, not yet anyway) of the English language.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  171. jane b. wilson

    2000 – we were OK. Eight years of Bush did us in. Let's blame all those who voted for his second term (didn't they get it???) and all those who voted for/did not object to the pre-emptory strike. Yes, we did it to ourselves, but some did it more. A much higher percent of miscreants will be found in the demographic making over $1M a year. Check it out.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  172. Patrick Kelly

    Career politicians. We need to vote out every incumbent for as long as it takes to get term limits in place to limit the corruption, bribery and earmarks running the country into the ground. And how about a balanced budget? Just because the fed creates money out of nothing doesn't mean the government has an endless supply of checks.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  173. Gene

    Greed from the private sector and stupidity among our elected officials.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  174. Emmanuel

    I'm really beyond the point of caring enough to place blame. As soon as I'm done with school, I'm going to Australia.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  175. Middleburg Dave

    It seems that everyone has forgotten about bin Laden's unltimate goal is to ruin the U.S. financially...he actually said that.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  176. Tom in Tampa Fl.

    There is enough blame(i.e. hubris) for all of us, of course.Together with Carl Bernstein's assertion that our Congress is "corrupt", Mr. Buchanan's assessments are really depressing.I think the next logical thing legislators should do is get serious and rein in big business lobbies-whether they are energy ,banking or health care.Only then can Congress actually begin to pass meaningful legislation that will help to save America. Enough of the silliness of tv commercials being too loud. Our nation's very survival is in peril.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  177. mike

    Tough question - easy one letter answer: "W" and his administration.
    his slogan don't tax but do spend.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  178. Eric Silveira

    The American super-rich combined with the Republican Party
    are the reason for our demise.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  179. Victor, Vicrginia Beach

    Corporate and Individual GEED

    January 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  180. Dian in Chicago

    America was Bushwacked, you betcha!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  181. Tom Guiley

    Katherine Harris and the Supreme Court caused the economic crisis by handing the Presidency to W and Cheney. Ralph Nader may warrant some blame as well.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  182. Gayle Randall

    The lack of bank regulations and an 8 year war that shouldn't have been in a nutshell.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  183. Roy Jones

    Greed, Jack! Plain and simple. We built these other countries by sending our jobs and we gave big businesses here the tax breaks to do it! All to keep the profits going up at an unsustainable rate. We are all accountable because as investors and mutual fund holders we bought into it to.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  184. Michael Pattinson

    The basic cause of our economic problems is that the very subject of economics is primitive and heavily flawed. Economics as a subject is based on false beliefs and theories and it will eventually collapse. Profit motive is NOT the true bottom line, cultural impact IS a true bottom line.A new view of economics should take account of the human needs factor and how we are all in the same economic boat.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  185. Frank Barker. Tn.

    What is to blame is the fact that nobody in this country wanted to admit we have been in a recession for 20 years. The people at the top seem to think they can tax the people at the bottom forever without giving anything back. Now we are in a depression and they are finally calling it a recession. They are blowing a bigger bubble now that they believe we are out of the woods. Excuise me while I get as far from Washington DC and Wall Street as possible when this bubble blows!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  186. Ron von Knasick

    Hey Jack,

    Two words, "Free Trade."

    January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  187. Dolores B.

    Government hubris, corporate greed, and public apathy.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  188. Maria Fowler

    I thing the so called "free trade" is the problem. From where I sit,if we import a million dollars worth of goods from any country, we should be able to export the same amount to them. I think equal mounts would balance out.If we have to take their goods, they should have to take our goods.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  189. Michael Stewart

    Jack ,Without a doubt the Bush Adminastration and its policy on economics and the on going military action in two countrys has brought the once Great United States of American too its knees.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  190. Patrick Dunn


    January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  191. Dave C

    The global economy is to blame for our demise. Every country is in the same or worse shape. Greed world-side in the banking and financial sectors caused this deep recession and a lack of oversight everywhere. We can blame each and every one of us for turning blinders to the false euphoria of 2003, 2005 and 2006. We were living like "drunken sailors".

    January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  192. ed in ri

    The answer to the question is obvious for any citizen that has been paying attention. The politicians are in bed with the Wallstreet lobbies, and have delivered an unprecedented exchange of money from the working class in our country to the chosen few on Wallstreet!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  193. dan baney

    That's simple. The House and Senate and those sorry Representatives who say they represent the best interest of the country, yet it is obvious they represent the best interest of lobbyists, the interest of the wealthy and those who donate to their own self-serving needs. We need Government reform worse than health reform to get this country healthy again.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  194. Tony (Texas)

    George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and their Defense Contractor and Wall Street political patrons. All of them should be tried for treasonous acts committed against the United States of America!!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  195. Olen

    Jack, we are to blame for the way this country is run. It will always be that way until they get term limits in the house and senate. That's not likely to happen, because the idiots are still embedded there.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  196. Daniel Martinez, Georgetown, TX

    The answer to your question Jack is simple. Unregulated industries (Financial/Mortgage) combined with greed. Just a reminder, nothing lasts forever and all great civilizations have met their demise.
    Austin, TX

    January 4, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  197. Tim in Texas

    Republicans, Jack. When your motto is "Take from the middle class and give to the Corporations," the economy will surely tank.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  198. Barry, Portland OR

    Obviously it's a combination of many things dating back long before 2000. For instance, look how many high-tech college grads we produce compared to China and India. If we want to design and make the products needed for the 21st century world, and the high-paying jobs that come with them, we can't continue to treat education as a non-priority. Alas, the American public isn't educated enough to comprehend the problem, let alone elect the people that will solve it.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  199. jim Blevins

    Republicans - when Democrats held the White House, we had a surplus. After four years of Bush, we not only had a deficit, but two wars and a Financial meltdown that will take years to fix. How to fix - easy - do the exact opposite of what the Republicans want.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    January 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  200. Vernon Griffin

    Greed,Greedy and Greediest is to blame for the Romans demise and
    were next in line.

    ps.Wow after I wrote this and looked at what other people wrote it
    was like almost everyone else had a similar thought.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  201. Chad from Los Angeles

    Where do I begin??? Too many factors to list here, but here are the top 3.

    1) Reagan eonomics during the 80's. Trickle down theory is probably the biggest scam ever put over on the American people.

    2) Sending jobs overseas for 30 years along with NAFTA.

    3) Electing and Re-Electing George Bush. The damage done by his administration will probably take 20 years to fully realize, similar time frame to uncover how bad Reagan hurt our country.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  202. David from TX

    Bush allowed American greed too much power. Free market is great until it becomes gluttony.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  203. Tony, Saint Charles, IL

    Is something wrong with the Capitalism, and Karl Marx was right ?

    January 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  204. Jack Taylor

    We've lost our workaholism, and we'll need it to just get that 2% growth in GDP.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  205. Judith Shade

    1.Deregulation – pick any industry (energy, banking, airlines) makes no difference
    2.Unnecessary war(s) whose expenses are 'off the books'
    3. WALMART – leading the race to the bottom for consumer pricing, for mega-consumption and driving vendors off shore to meet the company's cost demands
    4.Poor leadership – government, private sector, public sectors – there were no leaders in the 'aughts' – only sheep
    5. Greed created by everyone believing they could have anything they wanted and seeing others apparently reaching that goal (Bernie's coterie)

    We need to learn Chinese quickly.

    Hilton Head Island SC

    January 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  206. Dick Fitzwel

    GREED. Bush , Bernanke, RE agents(who need them anyway) , bank home loan agents, health insurance companies( abolish them), oil speculators and more.

    RAISE interest rates !!!!!!! Banks will make a HONEST profit , savers will earn money and THEN spend it.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  207. lewis yawn

    all you have to do is remember bill clinton nafta and free trade agreement with china

    January 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  208. Lou from North Carolina

    We don't make anything anymore but greed and money. Go see the banks and Wall Street.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  209. Rebekah from North Carolina

    The blame for the economic crisis lies solely with one person, George W. Bush. His decisions not to regulate banks, tax cuts for the rich and an ill-fated war with Iraq sealed our economic fate long before we knew.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  210. Don From Belleville, Ontario

    1. Foolish costly wars.
    2. Two political parites who for the entire decade could not compromise with each other for the good of the country.
    3. Greedy Wall Street titans who successfully sold the US citizens and businesses the bogus philosophy that bigger is always better and that only a loser uses his own money when borrowed money is so freely available.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  211. Frank Barker. Tn.

    Welcome back Jack,
    Its about time they got you back! Few people speak up for the common man/woman. The people at the top are so far out of touch with us that its not even funny anymore. They can vote themselves raises and justify lavish houses and cars and private planes and vactations at will. I have NEVER had a vactation and I would love to see any of them get by on $5000 a year every year since I entered the labor market. I only had about 7 years out of 62 that I made over that. However the cost of living has gone up 10,000 times what it was in 1966. I currently am getting by on $4224.00 a YEAR. thats my retirement. No 401k no other stuff and I can't afford the manilla folder that my portfolio SHOULD go in! Happy New Year give me what the executives on wall street waste and I will be a king.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  212. Neil Donovan

    All of us, the US government and US citizens, are to blame for our economic decline. We have all been living on a credit card.

    We have enjoyed plenty of goods, high wages, and we've had money to spare. And why? We have charged everything!

    We were never as rich as we thought, and today we are poorer still.


    Salem, MA USA

    January 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  213. C

    I'm waiting for this country to implode. Blame corruption from govt to big business looking to make money off the hard working citizen. It would be a different country if people actually did the right thing that simple. Do unto others as you would have othets do into you....it boils down to morals being replaced by greed and money!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  214. john, saskatchewan

    Welcome back Jack. The short answer to economic meltdown is "GREED"....unbridled and unrelenting greed. Business, as it is conducted today, is more like visiting a casino or an Istanbul nightclub...scam here, scam there, scam everywhere. Those who blame politicians are collosally naive.

    Economic power (or any other significant power) is not in the hands of the senate or congress or the White House. It's in the hands of the Central Banks and Boardrooms of Wall Street. Until people understand this hope does not spring anywhere, anytime.

    Happy New Year, Jack.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  215. Susan

    Pursuit of individual liberty/happiness driven by greed has become the acceptable mantra for corporate/business America. Responsibility for the good of the whole is for the most part ignored. Getting around the law is the immediate response when legislation is passed. Then we are all too happy to blame the political party not currently in power for ineffective legilslation.

    Why the economic decline? Selfishness. Greed. Belief that the quick buck is to be desired rather than work for the benefit of a nation.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  216. Allan Hanson Placerville,Ca

    The ego driven wars brought to us by Bush and his cronies. Even after we get out of both countries , the Military Industrial Complex will have full employment for at least 20 years replacng the equipment left and destroyed. The VA will require billions providing care for all the Veterans, caused by these wars.
    The fact we have virtually no Industrial base, as most jobs were sent overseas will slow down any recovery.
    I hope the American people do not fall for another " Contract with America " as they did earlier and will make the problem worse.
    Good to see you back, keep up the good work.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  217. Daniel

    I have to agree with the majority of the posts. GREED & MIS-USE of POLITICAL POWER was the two key factors in the downfall of the economy. George W. did everything possible to increase his friends and his own finances, meanwhile putting the countries needs on a back burner. Now we have Pres. Obama(whom I did vote for because it was the lesser of two evils) throwing money into the system like he is the monopoly guy on cocaine. Look at the stimulus plan, we have given these large corporations billions upon billions of dollars a piece and they turned around and dug the whole deeper. Then when our government starts looking into all these bonuses and everything and some key figures use their influence to make everyone basically say" well nothin we can do about it now, lets just give them more and hope they do the right thing." We can't let these companies fail? If Mcdonalds was to go out of business tomorrow you would have many fast food restaurants grow as a result. This would be the same with these large companies, "when one fails, another will prevail".

    January 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  218. Jerry Barton from the South Poconos in PA

    We use to make a lot of things that the rest of the world wanted and would buy from us. Now we buy things from the rest of the world (mostly China) when we can't afford it, and we have to now borrow the money (mostly from China) to to pay for these things we can't afford!

    Jerry from the Poconos in Pensylvania

    January 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  219. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Welcome back Jack and Happy New Year!
    Hope you had a great time and enjoyed your vacation time!

    Indeed quite an article to come back to...you must have spent too much time thinking!

    I think historical demise happens to every empire, every government and even every businesses and that is because of simple human nature of blind arrogance that grows into highest level of incompetence and total incoherence towards our values and the well being of others outside our country, outside our government and outside our businesses! Not very kind is it! But it is a fact! But guess what! Once we have the common sense to look at history then we can take steps to not continue this blind arrogance, incompetence and incoherence with real hard work with a much stronger renewed sense of learning how to communicate and live up to our values and principles and have moderate expectations within our own nation and outside of our nation. In fact, if a nation sees its own demise happening and reacts to it; it can actually empower other empire, government and businesses to take a new path that would finally bring more balance in all our lives! Thank you for sharing this article for more reading materials!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  220. Dan, St. Louis

    Three decades of supply side economics and Wall St. greed, Fed by artificially low interest rates and multiple bailouts (S&L, CMO, LTCM, ...).
    Time to reconsider regulation and risk transparency in order to expose shadow banking and stop incestuous dealings among hedge funds, investment houses, rating agencies and self-regulators.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  221. Dennis North Carolina

    greed and a lack of government

    January 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  222. Nathan

    The American people have been partly hoodwinked, but mainly a victim of it's desire to by cheap goods. Everyone wants a flat screen but the cost of losing our manufacturing base has destroyed our ability to take care of our citizens like most of Europe and Japan. As long as we consider running a deficit as normal operating procedure, we will soon find ourselves at the top of the third world.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  223. Kathy from Los Angeles

    Pure, unbridled, unchecked and unregulated corporate greed, and the American people's lack of outrage over anything that doesn't affect their own pocketbook.

    The American economic system is pretty easy to bullet point:

    – Start a big corporate conglomerate using someone else's money
    – Ship all the jobs overseas so you can lower costs while exploiting people
    – Spend massive dollars advertising, and don't forget to spend millions lobbying
    – Since you are a corporation, you don't have to pay the taxes, or follow the rules that the rest of Americans have to. We wouldn't actually want regulations that protect people now, would we?
    – Manipulate your stock prices, make really bad investments based on your unbridled greed and make profits by fair or unfair means, the only thing that matters, while paying the CEO billions
    – Once you've screwed over the general public, your employees, and Americans as a whole, ask for bailout money
    – Since you are a corporation and are never truly held accountable, after taking the taxpayers money, you'll just go bankrupt anyway

    January 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  224. ken davis

    That's easy, greed.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  225. Mysterious, Chicago

    Oh, please, Jack. If I were on the right, of course I would blame Obama, seeing that Bush was giving a surplus cash, along with peace and prosperity. But since I am NOT on the left and have common sense, I would say it was Bush, etc.

    Too easy.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  226. Mike

    Council on Foreign Relations globalists who wish for a one-world government. Jewish bankers like Wolfowitz, Bernanke, Greenspan, Zoellick, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Warmongering Zionists like AIPAC, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Norman Podhoretz & William Kristol. There is no Bush or Obama policy. They are sycophants & obedient puppets.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  227. Mel

    Hello Jack, I think that being Un-American is a lot of things, including shipping all of the industry abroad. All of these Corporate heads making all of the money in this country are tearing down this country by shipping everything abroad from Industry to even the Telemarketing. I'm sure they realize what their decisions mean to the economy. I think Tarrifs should be increased and penilities levied upon some of these companies. A new initiative should begin to start manufacturing in this country again. NEW-COMPANIES, making the same things being made over seas.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  228. big chuck

    greed is our big problem us congressmen taking money from large groups which they say is legal big business men moving the labor force over seas and bringing their product back here and still charging the same price for it unions asking for wages that are unrealistic health insurance companies out of control with no help from the paid off politicians and americans fighting with each other over stupid drummed up issues that are the least of our problem wake up americans lets take our country back

    January 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  229. Jim Green, TX, www.Inclusivism.org

    That's easy Jack—our anti-capitalists–THE REPUBLICAN PARTY! They use scare tactics and appeal to the idiots in America to get elected—and then implement their one and only program, once elected: To shift as much of America's wealth as possible to their wealthiest contributors—period, they have no other program—and as a result more businesses have failed as a direct result of this devious policy-than at anytime in American history!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  230. Lee Hood

    Selfish American consumer demand for the cheapest, therefore foreign made products to maintain a higher standard of living for
    themselves at the expense of all other countries.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  231. Joan

    I am a Republican and I was doing quite well under the Clinton years. It was downhill after that with the last George Bush. Two wars and the fat cats just got fatter. Under Clinton no wars and no deficit. People in Washington should just get to work and try to right the wrong. That would be a good start. We shall see what this new year brings. Like I always said to my children...stop the arguing and GET TO WORK!!!!!


    January 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  232. jerry davis

    You have to keep this secret, but I think I'm the one responsible for the financial mess. 2 years ago I heard I would get almost all of investment back when we sell, redid the kitchen, new cabinets, granite counters, hardwoods, appliances, plumbing and then did 2 bathrooms, heated tile floors and granite counters and new cabinets and hardware. My home has now lost $40-45,000 in value. I"m sorry, but I do think it was me.
    Dormie in Oregon

    January 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  233. Ken In Pinon Hills, CA

    We have paid trillions in taxes, and borrowed over eleven trillion dollars to feed our economy since WW2. Our business community has depended on those trillions fed into their pockets, by way of the military/industrial complex, entitlements, federal grants for states, and yes, congressional earmarks, plus hundreds of other programs. Federal government expenditures have been the major factor that fueled a huge and vibrant manufacturing base that had propelled our society upward.
    Our leadership in the industrial world was because millions of workers (consumers) were making things from chewing gum to space vehicles, but now they sit idle. My fellow citizens of the business world gave away millions of our jobs and factories to other countries as our elected officials in Washington just looked on. Our once gigantic manufacturing industry is kaput. China has become a powerful nation because they have till recently, been making the millions of things we used to make.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  234. Deb

    Jack, you need to go all the way back to Ronald Reagan. In the 1980's we were told te "trick down" effect was the best thing since sliced bread. Well the was the beginning of the "trickled on effect" of today. We were led to believe that a crumb was OK. The problem is that the rich got greedy and stop "trickling down on" the middle class. In vthe process "BREAKING CAPITALISM". THANK YOU MR. REAGAN.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  235. Hugh Broket

    The US Government lives in pretend land. Officials lie to themselves, Congress and the President. Only when somethong big goes wrong are we aware of it but everyday, every minute there is one failure after another. We freely let our manufacturing secrtrs go overseas with other countries not having to foot the developement cost and learning curves. While we are distracted with wars, and a growing number of enemies, China and other coutnries are gaining by the second as economic powers. Everytime we get distracted we miss another opportunity. I wonder when we will be hopping on ships to look for low paying jobs overseas.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  236. Rusty Jobe Oklahoma Farrier

    Well, it's simple really. People of special intrest groups got all the great tax cuts,along with gas prices of the recent past. If you want the economy to change, buy American products,and bring back manufacturing to the U.S.A.!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  237. OA in Florida

    This country lie about everything it has done and everything that it is doing and anybody in their right mind would know that them lies are not fixing anything meanwell the truth about what is happening continue to march on to the point that now it shows and they are still lying and claiming things are going in the direction that they are not.
    Remember Rev Wright was condemn for telling the Truth.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  238. John Henley

    I think the mess this country is in, started when clinton got the NAFTA bill passed and then bush got CAFTA passed this is really a no brainer! John Henley Little Hocking,Ohio 45742

    January 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  239. Steve Coi

    Greed and egotism. Everyone believes they actually deserve what they get. Quite often it's a matter of luck of birth. Everyone believes that they are good, smart, and upstanding. Often, they have distorted views of themselves. Americans believe their country is inhieritantly better that all other countries, without knowing anything about the subject. Business has no national pride or responsibilty, they just want to make more and more money. Politicians are corrupt and sell out the citizens that put them in office. The basic problem is humans are flawed and everything they run is flawed

    January 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  240. ken, nj

    Lobbyists, corporate greed and a dumb electorate are to blame. Terrophobia and corporate handouts are bankrupting the government. A good first start would be to implement a 90% tax rate for millionaires like FDR had to pay for world war II.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  241. Bob, St. Thomas Pa.

    Jack, the EPA has done a pretty good job of driving heavy industry from this country. The pollution didn't go away, it just moved to Mexico, India, and China.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  242. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    If selfishness can be classified as a sin then we are sinners to the nth degree. We, as a people, have allowed our nation to be run by selfiish politicans who cannot spell public interest let alone serve it. Wall Street was deregulated and allowed to destroy millions of Americans while contiuing to collect big salaries and bonuses even when they failed. The selfishly instigated Bush-Cheney wars to create sales for their friends in industry and big profits. Tax cuts for the rich and unemployment for the working and middle classes as jobs were outsourced by American firms to cheaper sweat shops overseas. Unemployment up, stock market up. All in the name of greed. Gordon Keckco is alive and well and belongs to both political parties.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  243. fred davis

    this country has lived and continues to live in numerous fantasies such as mega sports coverage,christian religious proganda and the the belief that our elections within the current system are providing us with the. greatest democracy. the fantasy is intensified by a pervasive lack of any real dialogue on important issues by anyone other than the same old pundits and contributors.there is a lack of true investigative reporting from almost all current news shows.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  244. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Lets go down the list, Not one but two dumb wars, because of the Military Industrial Complex, giving billions upon billions to every other country in the world to buy them off. Using the American people like an ATM Machine, giving away over 90% of the manufacturing jobs, letting in over 20 million Illegal Aliens, which drives down wages so that the American people can longer buy our own goods. Getting cheap lead laced goods form China while giving up wind energy and cheaper energy that we developed solar energy, also buying over 700 billion per year of other nation oil that they drive up prices on a whim. Letting the Republicans scare the people again from going to a single payer health-care system which would have ended health-care companies in all forms. And just being a fear filled nation that is afraid to make changes that are better for all Americans because American see other Americans as lazy bums, yeah the country won't last long this that type of mind set! And finally Capitalism which has not worked, is not working, and will never work Capitalism is dumb!!!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  245. TOM

    The very start was terrorism. 9-11 brought down this country more than one wants to believe. After that the huge companies lost ALL faith in the American Worker and moved out of this country, with it thousands of jobs. What these countries they moved to do is support terrorism. With their economies rallying and cash flow they will find a way to sink the USA. After all thats there goal isn't it? And we HELPED!!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  246. Frank Ernst

    The beginning of America's economic demise began in the late 60's early 70's with the change in corporate and government policies, aimed at diminishing workers salaries and benefits. Most recently, the removal of tariffs and changes in trade agreements, resulted in shifting the source of most goods to cheap foreign labor markets. Those companies who still do business within the USA will outsource the manufacturing of goods and services wherever possible. Witness Boeing outsourcing the major manufacturing of their most recent airplane the B-787, or IBM replacing American engineers with engineers from India, or GM building plants in Mexico or United Airlines outsourcing aircraft maintenance to Mexico. Without the tax revenue that we use to have from American business located in America, paying good American wages, the tax revenue to support a healthy vibrant America is gone, as evidenced by the country being on its economic knees. Frank Ernst, Cape Coral, FL

    January 4, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  247. Mike M Lady Lake, Fl

    The 1998 'Free Trade Bill', written by multi national corp's, Republican majority, and signed into law by then President Clinton. And the ENRON type investment mentality that has taken over the whole banking / Wall Street sector (make enough money in one year that would usually take years to earn). That money has to come from somewhere.................real or imagined.................or Madoff' ed.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  248. Robert

    A combination of GOP politics, deregulation of corporate America, via Lobbyists payoffs to Congress, with no balance of trade, and not enough tariffs or taxes imposed to make up the difference of what has been lost in employment and infrastructure support. Corporate profits could be going to help develop growing, viable jobs, from companies started in this country.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  249. Benard k. Chatters

    Ronald Reagan conservatism that made the country proud to say,"I am poor ,anti union,anti national health care,and anti anything that is not what our rich puppeteers tell us it should be.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  250. K

    Every American will have an opinion on what's or who's to blame for America's economic demise. Instead of pointing fingers and trying to blame the Democrat and Republican parties for everything that's gone wrong and is going wrong, why can't the media give the American public something a little more positive to look forward too and focus on? Every American knows how bad it is right now and nobody wants to look forward to such a bleak future. A most positive change for the future of America will start with every individual working together with one another to make positive changes happen.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  251. Mary Havey

    no brainer, corporate america has been moving all the good jobs over seas. our government and wallstreet are willing to ignore human rights in other countries, and destroy the american econemy, as usual,to line their own GREEDY pockets. capitalism. is'nt it great! mary milwaukee Wis

    January 4, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  252. skip in Iowa

    The demise of the American fabric, which includes our economy, is being accomplished by the Congress and the pack of special interest lobbiest that bribe them... deregulation... bail-out... on and on. When will someone be held accountable?

    January 4, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  253. Dan - Eustis, florida

    Lets see, Pat Buchanan says this precipitous decline started in 2000.
    What event happened in 2000, the election of Bush and Cheney and
    selling out of America to the rich and special interests. Tax breaks to the
    obscenely wealthy. C.E.Os making millions for driving Companies off
    the cliff. Out sourcing of our jobs and just plain greed and stupidity. We
    as a Nation have become lazy. We allow people to text message and yake on their cell phones when they are supposed to be working. We have allowed our Politicians to sell us down the river. We have to wake up and get involved in holding our elected leaders accountable. Especially the do nothing Republicans who started us on our down hill
    spiral but try to blame Obama for every ill this Country suffers.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  254. A

    While the internet is the cause of a lot of it (more purchasing online equals fewer jobs), a lot of it is because of the "global economy". As Americans are encouraged to buy products from overseas, because of lower prices, etc., there's less business for American businesses, which means fewer jobs.

    For America to retain its economic power, the purchasing has to stay in America. There's only so much money to go around, and if it's going to other countries, they're getting richer, while America is getting poorer.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  255. Ran Sea. Wa.

    Personal agendas, no doubt play a major role in our demise. Although greed and power are to blame as well. Love thy fellow man, and one for all and all for one, are not even a consideration in everyday thoughts. One might want to blame simply the government for all of our current problems. You could draw that conclusion since they set the laws and regulations. Unfortunately, each individual has there own responsibility for there lack of participation in the actual building of our government. Yea, your one vote and careful investigation of each candidate could have prevented our poor leadership that led and sometimes drug us to our demise. Big business and the lack of control there in, has no doubt contributed enormously. When one relies purely on t.v. ads, instead of voter guides, and additional investigation on your own, you are subject to to be "dooped". Look in the mirror if you really want to know who's at fault.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  256. John from Newark, Ohio

    Ronald Reagan cackled constantly for a balanced budget amendment but never once submitted a budget which was anywhere near balanced. Meanwhile his administration, through abandonment of antitrust enforcement, promotion of dereugulation, and neglect of the environment, ushered in an era of greed and corruption and business practices which focused on short-term profit-taking rather than long-term investment. These abuses have been allowed to run wild in the decades since the Reagan presidency, especially during the Bush-Cheney regime. As a result, a cancer is growing in the American economy–and it may verywell be incurable.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  257. herb rioselle

    Taking our country from a time of peace and prosperity into two wars and a depression takes bold leadership, and George W. Bush should take a bow for doing this in recording time. Terrorist groups could not have hoped for better. Perhaps W. is a double agent?

    January 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  258. Sanford

    The answer is simple, Jack. We behave as individuals without looking at the obvious implications for the nation as a whole. Whether you look at the corporate sector or the personal sector - wall st or main st., many are only interested in personal growth and profit and are neither aware or care about long term consequences if they do not have a personal impact.

    Greed and war have cost us our hearts and our wisdom. We are only a little over two hundred years old and are behaving as selfishly and immaturely as a young child. Whether you are looking at the childishness in congress, the corporate sector or the misguided priorities and purchases of consumers, we have a lot of work to do and we must work together to do it. We must take a long and global view to address these problems and they can only be solved if we are able to put aside differences and work together toward the common goals that have inspired and guided generations - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  259. katiec Pekin, IL

    Bush, Cheney, the republicans are responsible and continue to try to destroy our nation. Every republican in the house voted against
    Finance Reform, they tried to fillibuster funds for our troops for their own personal gains, and, obstruct anything and everything regardless of merits and benefits. When you have a political party whose primary goals are to destroy our president, party first, big business and win at any cost there is not much hope for accomplishment.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm |


    January 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  261. Flint

    I'll give you a hint, Jack: W.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  262. Howard Arbetman

    National Security is to blame. Look at how much more productive time is wasted by going through airport security now versus 10 years ago. If you added up all that additional time for all the people who travel for work, you would realize millions of hours wasted so our country can be safer. Sadly, I guess you could say it's a victory for the enemy. Richard Reid had more to do with our loss of productivity than just about anyone in the last 10 years!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  263. Bill Clement

    Let's try NAFDA ,CAFTA, and any other so called trade agreement that really only was mean't to benefit the upper management corporate people. I'm a high school grade and even I know a person
    making 30 dollars an hour pays more taxes than a 10 dollar an hour
    employee! Remember the sound Ross Perot made. You know the
    sound of all the jobs leaving our country!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  264. David

    Bush, Bush, Bush

    Going to an unjust war costing trillions of dollars will do it. As long as we are still there, spending trillions, the economy will not get better.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  265. Rusty Jobe Oklahoma Farrier

    Well it's simple really. Certain special interest groups got really nice tax cuts, and still sold off our manufacturing jobs to other countries.Also,let's not forget those gas prices of the recent past. If you want the economy to change buy American products and bring back manufacturing back to the U.S.A.!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  266. Dr Khalid Fahmi - Toronto

    Well Jack... the so-called demise of the US started under the Bush JR presidency. Specifically this man waged TWO simultaneous wars "on terror" thus sapping American prosperity by about 2 Trillion $US.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  267. Jack T

    The lying and no good for nothing politicians who represent the wealthy and few in this country while ignoring the needs of middle class Americans. You do not have to look any further than the useless current Republican platform to bring down Obama, to understand that the Republican's are only interested in their own self-serving needs, instead of the doing what is best for the country. If all we needed in Washington was a bunch of complainers without solutions, than we could of put a bunch of school kids on the hill. Hey Republican's, how about some solutions instead of your constant whining. You can start by not wanting to give tax breaks to the rich or your corporate pimps and start passing laws that benefit all Americans. When a Republican speaks about ideas, they rehash the same Bush theories (i.e. trickle down theory giving tax breaks to the rich that only trickled to the greedy and non regulation of financial industry that gambled away our 401k) thinking we forgotten how Bush lied, used scare tactics and catered to the rich and greedy that eventually destroyed this country. Do we really want to put Republicans in charge again so they can take care of their buddies that ruin this country? I hope not!.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  268. james K. Cowan

    The demise of the United States began back in the 80's when our politicians from both parties gave in to lobbyists (bribes) and began shipping our manufacturing jobs offshore. I lived in Alabama at the time, and saw hundreds of southeastern textile mills, foundries, manufacturing plants, mines, and some steel mills close due to outsourcing. Then cheap imports, including agricultural products, that were flooding our markets gave the final blow to our working class and our economy. Part of the blame also falls squarely upon the more radical left wing elements of the environmental movement which pushed through congress unrealistic regulations that forced many industries to relocate to third world countries in order to survive. Now we are becoming an impoverished third world country, thanks to our politicians and the enviro's.

    Jim Cowan, Newport, Washington.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  269. jose

    American foreign policy for one, lack of trust from who we try to push them on too, and as we spend billions of dollars policing the world the Chinese have been spending that time investing in their own infrastucture, forget about democracy, now that Iraq is a democracy the oil contract have gone to the Chinese,Russians etc. I wonder once oil trades in Chinese or Russian currencies will we invade them as we did Iraq and the rest? No wonder Iran wants the atom bomb so badly.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  270. bill

    Republicans tend to present themselves as the champions of everything that is good in this country.
    Democrats tend to present them selves as the champions of poor and oppressed
    Both are servants of wall street. Loyalty of wall street is not to the country or the flag. Their flag is green as the colour of money.
    We the people dont want hand outs. Middle class paying jobs it what we want. These jobs are shipped every day to Asia. No middle class no country. Get it?

    January 4, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  271. Norm

    George W. is to blame for that unnecessary war that drained our nations bank account His greed for taking over Iraq was to take over oil supplies in that country for him and his daddy's good witch will never happen. You figure what the total cost of that war is thats still costing our country now and forever.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  272. Bruce

    Are we surprised? In the 1950's the largest employer in the US and Canada was the steel industry. By the 1970's the largest employer was the hotel related industry. We went from nations producing products that the whole world needed and/or could purchase to nations that only offered service related industries that could only be afforded by persons with excess disposable income.
    Along the way we became nations of self-important persons where the thought of getting our hands dirty went from something to be proud of to something that marked us as being lower class persons.
    Then the Walmart's of the world came along, telling us that cheep was better and all items should be affordable by all persons, regardless of ones income. Armed with this attitude items and services marked "made in USA/Canada" became automatically viewed as overpriced and we only wanted to pay the absolute bottom price for these items thus we embraced items marked "made in China".
    Now we are surprised that we have high unemployment and that employment is skyrocketing in third world countries. Those Bic pens that use to be manufactured in USA/Canada and sold for $5 a box are now sold in Wal-Mart for $3 a box. Yes, we got our cheep pens but at what price.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  273. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Obviously the years since the turn of the century and we all know who’s to blame for that. But beyond that are all those who let Bush get away with his idiotic plans and criminal administration. Then follow that by unthinkable stupidity in real estate. Then come the Bush bailouts for failed unethical, immoral and dishonest corporations (or rather their CEOs). Then the complete and utter failure of Obama to keep a single one of his campaign promises. Note: a gutted, empty healthcare reform bill that in actuality is a windfall for the industry is not what I call keeping a promise. Apparently, we never learned that “trickle down” never worked – not once in the last 30 years.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  274. Roy Pettit

    There has to be a party for the selfish, self-centered, self-absorbed, and self-involved - that's the role of the Repulican Party. When they're allowed to rule for eight years in a row, this is what you get.

    Signed: A Republican for 40+ years who's ashamed of his party.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  275. Donszy

    Can you say "monetary policy" no one talks about it, but it affects the average american greatly. Check the value of the dollar against the yen and Euro in 2000 & you should have your answer! Corps make more exports, but you and I pay more for every item we buy. Just compare the price effect on a barrel of oil!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  276. pat in michigan

    ALL THE NITWITS IN WASHINGTON!anti unionism. assault on the working class.greed by the unions. bribary and corruption of our congress on both sides thank you!taking bribes to allow foriegn companies to import cars without import taxes.
    Go ahead keep taxing us. we took care of it once before we can do it again.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  277. Greg Miller

    Monopolistic capitalism has destroyed this once great democratic republic. The enlightened ideas of the founding fathers, which were based on the ideas of the "Age of Enlightment," have been forgotten and replaced by the idea of power over all things is good. Corporations by definition are a product of government–they must be incorporated by government–and must be controlled by "We the People." Instead we have been taught that "We the People" are merely consumers working for the better good of enslavement and industrial servitude to the almighty multi-national corporation that has no respect to the individual sovereignty of people and nations.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  278. kickindustcowboy Las Vegas, Nevada

    First George Bush and the neocons dragged us into two wars we cannot afford politically or economcally,and treasonously sold our national debt to China to pay for what we could not afford due to their massive tax cuts. We are constantly looking backwards thinking tax cuts and deregulation will solve everything and we can have everyting without paying for it! The deregualtion led to the massive economic collapse and consequent massive debt. The ecological Ludditescannot see that there is not an infinity of natural resources and have made us more, not less, dependant on pretorodictators who use the petrodollars to kill us physically and economically. We have to re-learn the lessons of our past generation that we have to sacrifice to grow our nation and consequently rebuild our own infrastrcuture and energy independance. We cannot have everything we want and have others pay for it.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  279. John Wilcox

    The economic problems we face now are a direct result of the polarization of the american electorate and the lack of moral and effective leadership in government for the majority of the decade.

    Taking our eye off the ball in Afganastan and focusing on Iraq cost us billions we needed to spend on domestic issues. More importantly our leaders immoral arrogance alienated our international allies – so we had to go it almost alone.

    Indifference to business corruption and greed and the assumption that the economy would self-correct without harming political allies – damn the little guy – prevented getting effective regulation to obvious dangers.

    We need much more thoughtful, effective and involved government with leadership right from the top. We need to set a moral direction to focus on a return to growth of the middle and working class and not be afraid to recoup taxes and power from those who have been unfairly enriched for the past 9 years.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  280. Tony @ Atlanta USA

    Housing Bust? No Jack. After 911 we've became internalized. The sleeping giant was awaken; China that is, began to export its people and goods to countries we used to do business with. We've become a land of fear instead home of the brave, just as Osama predicted. Disgraceful!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  281. Robert M

    The United States needs to accurately assess it position in the Global Economy & Market. It still believes it is the world driver. It is not. Other countries have learned where there strengths and weaknesses lie and are working to maximize their fit in this global market.
    There is an arrogance in the United States that believes only they can lead the world. They do not accept that they make major mistakes. Until they do, they will not have a hope of regaining their former greatness.
    Major Manufacturing (almost gone) technical superiority (almost gone)
    world engineering dominance (almost gone) Financial credibility (gone)
    What left. Still have a great military. If we keep starting wars we can ignore the other stuff

    January 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  282. Paul

    Jack, here is a few possibilities, The costs of maintaining troops in 135 countries; I thought the cold war ended twenty years ago. Another reason is the massive borrowing and trade imbalance with China. And finally,millions of illegals taking jobs from Americans. I know, they only take jobs Americans won't do. Well here is one unemployed American who will do those jobs.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  283. Thom Richer

    Simple. Arrogance. And all that comes with it. Greed, prejudice, hatred, disdain, lack of compassion, self-indulgence, self-righteousness, abuse of religion, abuse of Constitutional rights and most of all lack of respect for peoples, properties and lives.

    We govern by war now. We have become a Corporate Imperialism. It is and has been a plan in motion to mold the world into "little us's" by taking over the world under the guise of Capitalism. When in fact it is economic Imperialism. Our government, no matter who is or was at its head, continues to sacrifice its peoples without conscience with smug arrogance that they know what is best for the world.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    January 4, 2010 at 5:43 pm |

    The blame goes to the bad government leadership,greed of this country and the public for not holding them responsilble. So many bad decisions from the local to the federal level are made without much resistance from the public. And the officials that are elected lose themselves along the way. What gets me is while unemployment is at such a high rate, the healthcare system is so over priced, the economy is a disaster, we are losing american lives at war, the white house has time for lavish parties.They need to remember this country belongs to the peolpe.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  285. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Ronald Reagan was not a conservative Reagan raised taxes so the Republicans need to admit that even Reagan dcan not pass the new rules that conservatives have put into place to not help moderates in their party!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  286. B.N.

    If I remember correctly the point of government is to protect the people. So at the end of the day it is governments fault if our financial system goes awry through lack of regulation and or enforcement. However, if you live long enough you will see cycles come and go and you should be responsible for yourself and control how you spend! Most wealth is earned by saving and not spending beyond one's means! Greed is spread amongst all equally, self control is the problem. Whoever is in control Dems or Republicans must not spend beyond what this generation can afford. Failure is an option for the banks, those that remain do so because of sound financial management. This bailout mentality will allow greed to continue since consequences are the gov. will bail out failure and pay off handsomely.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  287. Marc in Canada

    Americans only have themselves to blame Jack

    Americans who are short sighted and purchase cheaply made foreign products and high end import cars instead of buying American and keeping their money in the USA, CEO's who are short sighted and continue to cut jobs and outsource services or manufacrturing jobs abroad, greed on Wall Street, greed in general, decision makers that think 700 military costly bases abroad is a good thing and Americans who think it's fine for the Healthcare Industry to continue making record profits without covering all Americans and breaking the bank in the process.

    Need I continue? I could go on and on and on Jack.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  288. Camille

    Dear Mr. Cafferty,

    Thank you for the opportunity to speak on this subject. As a viewer, I am always intrigued by your commentary and often I am reminded of the days of old here in Chicago when Walter Jacobson used to project the same “no-non-sense” style of commentary on the state of affairs in Chicago…one of the best Chicago ever had…and you as well, one of the best commentator’s CNN has acquired over the years.

    With regards to our economical demise in this country, I am struck with the notion to comment on the fact that the Bush Administration opened the flood gates for the types of “excess” that were experienced in this country over the past 10 years. It was the Bush Administration that spent the economic surplus the Clinton Administration (as well as Republican Congress) ushered in at the end of his term. It was the Bush Administration that totally demolished our character as a Country across the world (and some would say) within the first 100 days of his presidency. It was the Republican lead congress that even though they fiscally joined in a state of bi-partisanship with the Clinton Administration to create the economic surplus concretely dismantled the “Glass Stiegel” laws to again open the flood gates for multiple levels of corruption and predatory lending practices in this country. And it was the Bush Administration with the Medicare-D program that ensured our country had a overreaching deficit with respect to the payment of the Medicare-D program which was not paid for nor did anyone in the Bush Administration or the Republican led Congress (for at least 6 years of the Bush Admin). Some of us and in the media are concerned with not pointing fingers at the past administration for its obvious list of flaws but to solely point out President Obama’s enormous bill for the future is a bit unfair. Put it like this, if you smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol and do other things to damage your health and body, don’t be surprised if you get a big bill after the doctor diagnosis’s you with Emphysema or Heart Disease. This is essence what America has done to herself…smoked and drank her way into a economical mess with a prescription to “spend-our-way-out-of-this mess” or die on the spot. Yes we did this to ourselves as a country no doubt, but the Bush Administration certainly helped by paving the way.

    Thanks again for the opportunity to respond to this question.

    Welcome back , glad to see you & Happy New Year!

    Camille 

    January 4, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  289. EugeneWiese

    Outsourcing our manufacturing base due to greed,arrogance,and stupidity,with deregulation,and no oversite,during Ronald Reagan's regime. The continuing trickle down economics,promoted by conservatives.A typical antisocial,fascist,segragation tactic. Divided we fell.United for freedom and liberty and the pursuit of property.The military industrial complex is the Coup de Gras. Gene

    January 4, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  290. George in CA

    Example: The auto industry.

    For years, the Big Three were the only significant auto makers in the world. The management got complacent and refused to listen to efficiency experts who then went to Japan and became revered for their ability to improve both quality and productivity.

    Next, the UAW was able to force US companies to pay ever higher wages and benefits, without regard for the competition in other countries. Note: It is possible to pay a US worker more IF that worker can be more productive, but unions blocked moves that would improve productivity because that meant fewer workers who would pay union dues.

    this is just one example of how Americans have believed that they were the greatest, and could therefore ignore the very existance of other countries and the possibility that those other countries could do things every bit as well as Americans do.

    Of course the greed of CEO's and financial counterfietrs also made a big difference, but it all goes back to thinking that we can ignore the rest of the world because we are somehow superior in brains and brawn.

    Corporations have to understand the competition, and countries do, too.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  291. Don, Hoodsport, WA

    Blame that dated delusion that all Americans can get rich if we just work harder. Sure, it may pay off for some. However, greed plus instant gratification trumps all!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  292. Pat

    Was it Khrushchev who said we would destroy ourselves from within? He was right!. Al Queda is helping us along.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  293. Michael Foran

    We are! We vote in idiots like George Bush and then re-elect him to do an even worse job the second go around.

    We are! We allow big business to pay for favors with our economic engine and are surprised to find it is not running very well?

    We are! We allow China to dump its cheap crap all over us for over a decade now at a trade inbalance of billions of dollars per month and wonder now what has gone wrong?

    We are! We have become such a mixed society that I don't think of us as one society. We are made up of different lots and do not work together anymore!

    We are! we allow unions to drive up workers wages so that we can't compete with anyone. Why should a worker be paid $45.00 an hour for work that I would do for $15 an hour?

    We are! Our government trys to put back some of the regulations that protected us from this financial meltdown only to have the banking lobbyists hoot and bark until they get a watered down version.

    It seems that capitolism has bit off its nose despite its face

    Big banks, Big oil and government...SHAME ON YOU! You RATS

    GREED IS KILLING US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  294. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Because Americans lives in a dream world and just refuse to come out of the Matrix!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  295. Robert Pelland

    After your holidays Jack, you could have come up with a more difficult question than this, since this is too easy to answer. It can be summed up in only three words, indavidual GREED, GREED, and more GREED, and it's going to bring your country down.


    January 4, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  296. Brian Ion

    If Congress is the problem, and I won't say it isn't, then those with better ideas should run for office. Just be prepared for the mud bath.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  297. Charles Hoffman

    It is easy to start to identify the blame, but where do I stop. Basically it is the american worker, the two parties that run the country, a lack of a true fuel strategy, business executives that are incompetent to do anything but to oursource work to foreign countries with cheaper labor, major retailers that think only of price, the press and news media that is based on sensationalism, unfair trade ageeements, and finally the US idea that we need to police the world.

    I have worked overseas for years and in every case the foreign workers put the American counterpart to shame. We have two parties that run the country and are more concerned about the next election rather then what is good for the countries. No one has come up with a true fuel strategy, we should be independent within 5 years, incentivize executives to add US manufacturing jobs, retailers that sell more than 35 % of the value of their goods with foreign origin should be taxed double, the news media needs to return to investigative reporting rather all this sensationalism- every show spends hours repeating the latest news panic (including CNN). We need to get out of policing the world. How many armed forces do we have stationed over the world that should be returned? I could go on for pages.

    We need to get the President and both houses of congress–Repubicans and Democrats to take three issues and set specific objectives and a timetable to accomplish these tasks. Here are a few-return one half of the lost manufacturing jobs to the US soil by 2012, become fuel independent by 2015, return all troops from Japan, South Korea, and Iraq by 12/31/10. I hope this helps.

    January 4, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  298. Angie

    What is to blame for US economic Demise?

    Easy the past years of the Republican Administration with the lessening of the rules and regulations concerning the practices of Banks and Financial institutions which began as early as 2001, as the housing industry got flooded with prime loans that brought the whole housing industry to a stand still by 2008.

    And yet the Republicans claim that a vote for them is a vote to strengthen the economy. Go Figure!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  299. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Because we have no money the central banks of the world are breaking every country, ever since they came into being, we keep having more and more crashes in our markets! The Fed needs to go, Andrew Jackson was right!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  300. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    We give them more and more money at every level of our governments and they demand more and more money to spend, or steal while not providing and service, taxing us more, and fining us for even parking in our own driveways which are part of our own yard in front of our own house.

    Is it me or is it getting dumb!

    January 4, 2010 at 5:58 pm |