Tag: or better off?

Better Off Compared To What?

Continuing with that theme mulled over a few days ago, are we better off with Obama at the helm, I found two items today that may be relevant, both indicate a backwards momentum, although to be fair, might not be Obama’s fault. First one has to do with the basic essential of life, vittles:

Record numbers of U.S. households struggled at times to feed their families last year, according to a report Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the state of hunger in America.

A lack of resources forced others to cut back on meals and disrupt their usual eating patterns, it says.

A record 17.9 million U.S. households – 700,000 more than in 2010 – didn’t have enough food at all times last year to sustain active, healthy lives for all family members, according to the USDA.

This “food insecurity” affected a record 14.9 percent of U.S. households and more than 50 million people, about one in six U.S. residents.

A few months ago, during one of these same debates where we were talking about poverty, I posted a graph indicating the wealth that we enjoy, even for those at or below the poverty line. The percentages of those in poverty that had at least one car, had cable, big screen TV’s, a washer and dryer, air conditioning, owned their own home, had enough to eat (reportedly), and compared to other parts of the world where starvation and depervation were much more pronounced, it added a bit of context to what we consider “in need”. But this stat, revealing a large percentage of Americans that do not have enough food ” to sustain active, healthy lives for all family members”, this is very troubling. I can’t think a better barometer for a society then the health and well being of it’s citizens, the fact that anyone in America goes to bed hungry, this should give all of us pause.

The other indicator of a slow slide to oblivion has to do with our global competitiveness around the world:

The United States’ ability to compete on the global stage has fallen for the fourth year running as confidence in the country’s politicians continues to decline, an annual survey from the World Economic Forum found today.

Even though the world’s largest economy saw its overall competitiveness rise on the back of its status as a global innovation powerhouse, the Forum says the U.S.’s ranking has dropped two places to seventh this year. The Netherlands and Germany have moved ahead of the U.S. on the top 10 leaderboard.

The report found that some aspects of the U.S.’s political environment continue to raise concern among business leaders, “particularly the low public trust in politicians and a perceived lack of government efficiency.”

Emphasis mine.

Another source gave these reasons:

A lack of economic stability highlighted by a soaring national debt, combined with a lack of trust in government by the business community, helped drop the U.S. two notches to seventh in a ranking of national global competitiveness.

This can be placed directly at the feet of “poor leadership”. Whether corporations (and small businesses) get their tax cut next year, whether regulations get freed up after the election, whether sentiment changes so that companies feel they can hire more people and grow their business, there is much doubt and uncertainty right now within the business community. Leaders that have their backs, that don’t try to share in their glory wrt their accomplishments, leaders that appear to understand the dynamics of a free market system that don’t want to inhibit or curb their wealth and certainly don’t want to share it with others, these are the types of leaders that deserve the job and the support of the people.