By Francisco Gonzalez, JMI Development Director
The federal stimulus package that passed and was signed by the President in February 2009 was billed as a “job creation” bill. We were going to get America moving again, by putting ourselves into debt with another $787 billion. Well, we accomplished only the latter. Unfortunately even $787 billion of deficit spending has not produced us any new jobs. In fact, the opposite has happened.
A year later, forty-nine out of all 50 U.S. states (http://www.examiner.com/x-21300-Rasmussen-Polls-Examiner~y2009m10d21-49-out-of-50-states-have-lost-jobs-since-the-stimulus-bill) and the District of Columbia have lost jobs. Florida finds itself among this crowd (while North Dakota was the lucky winner). When the stimulus bill was passed in February, Florida’s unemployment rate was just under 8% (http://www.floridajobs.org/publications/news_rel/LMS%20Release10-16-09.pdf). Almost a year later, it currently stands at over 11 percent, and climbing.
We now stand to ask, does another Great Depression await us? In January, we should have been nowhere near asking that question – we were merely experiencing a recession. But our nation did not learn the lessons that caused and prolonged the Great Depression. Just as in the late 1920s and early 1930s, government intervention and bad government policies caused a deepening economic crisis. As each year went by, politicians claimed we needed more government “stimulus” as we handed them over more power. It took more than a decade and the economic mobilization to prepare for a world war to get America out of that depression.
Let’s hope we as a nation are able to recognize history’s lessons this time around, before it’s too late; particularly the lessons of common sense economics. Wouldn’t it be nice if every political leader in this nation, and you and I, read more about the “great myths” of the Great Depression. Here’s a start: http://fee.org/articles/great-myths-of-the-great-depression