Recently, in the media, there has been much discussion and even joking, about the economic realities of today vs. the economic realities of times gone bye, specifically the 70's. Changes in economy, including the presence of a global economy, and the technological revolution, which has created a Culture of Media, impact job creation and the standard of living in this country. And the global economy is a direct benefactor of the Culture of Media.
Technology, specifically, is responsible for slow job creation. Slow job creation erodes disposable income and, declining disposable income hinders future job creation as well as the payment of taxes and increases government deficits. God help us all if they design robots to replace fast food workers and retail clerks, the two occupations with the largest employment in America. But, then again, we may be approaching a point where fewer and fewer Americans can afford Big Macs and Nike's.
Most importantly, there has been a erosion of values partially due to the MBA mentality of maximum immediate profits, without regard for patriotism, social costs, or anything else. This principle has been smartly marketed as patriotic and propagated through The Culture of Media with the help of the super rich, whose objectives this maxim serves; and with the support of Tea Party Republicans, whose motives can only be surmised. And it is decidedly un-American not to embrace this principle.
The omnipresent media characterized by Facebook and smartphones, creates a distance between our actions and the effect of our actions on what we value. It is not that Americans are becoming morally reprehensible. Older Americans are detached and are unable to comprehend the changing realities. Swayed by right-wing media and the Tea Party, they believe that the truths, actions, and policies of 50 years ago, will solve the problems of America. And they won't. Younger Americans, immersed in the Culture of Media, believe but are beginning to become disillusioned. They, like their older counterparts, suffer detachment and desensitization, from lack of understanding and bad information, and immersion in the Culture of Media.
Decades ago, the notion of delayed gratification was an America value. Americans got jobs, worked hard, and saved for the future. The idea of apprenticeship was built into the American job market. A journeyman, through hard work and merit, could advance. However, due to changing values and technologies, this is not the norm today.
Corporations, by definition, do not care about understanding, and only seek to maximize profits. Ironically, due to the stagnation in wage growth since the crash of 2008, more working Americans require government subsidies and food stamps, just to survive. So the job creators are having the government subsidize the wages they pay their workers and then they evoke communist innuendo and cry foul when the government attempts to tax their record profits and piles of cash on the sidelines.
Those Americans that understand these new truths, compromise or change their values; and, lacking full understanding, ally themselves with the financial aristocracy. And they do not see their folly. They only recognize that a minimum wage job, that will not enable them to pay their bills, will probably lead nowhere. And they are probably right. And the erosion of spirit and human values further erodes morality, in the same manner the erosion of disposable income in an economy further depresses that economy.
If we want to get America going in the right direction again, we must restore American values and morals again. The religious dogma of the Tea Party and the far right justifies self-interest and greed, that is, as long as the church gets its cut of the pillaging, I mean business dealings. Mean-spirited greed is bad. Selfishness is NOT a virtue. I believe that most true Christians, and most Americans, accept this notion and value this. But, because of the changing realities, many are detached and unable to express it. Perhaps, a few of the people that saw Wall Street, really didn't understand the movie.
There is a price for the freedom and opportunity that America has afforded its people since its inception. Included in the price is the principle of cooperation and compromise. Business is neither good nor bad. And, people should be rewarded for work and merit. But when corporations rig markets, break laws, evade taxation, pollute and damage communities, and exploit workers, we need government and laws and regulations. Government is not always good and should not involve itself in the reproductive rights of women as it is doing in some states. But, people should be rewarded for their work and their merit and all citizens are entitled to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."