Thinking back to the financial crisis of 2008, one would think that another such economic catastrophe would somehow elude us. It was just ten years ago that the United States plunged the world into the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression. Yet here we are, a decade later, no wiser and even more foolish. You would have thought that we would have learned from our mistakes, but time and time again, history proves that we are still prone to repeat mistakes of the past. When will we ever learn? Today, what we have is déjà vu of the 2008 financial crisis. So what we have now are almost the same set of circumstances that are poised to unleash an economic debacle more sinister and more devastating than the one in 2008. To understand how this is happening, we first have to look at what transpired leading up to the 2008 crash.
Long before the financial crisis of 2008 occurred, there were continuing factors already taking place that led to the eventual collapse of the financial, real estate, and auto industries. One of the most prominent factors in contributing to this crisis was the fact that the banking institutions from 1980 onward began a series of policy changes that began to undermine the financial security and stability of those same institutions. When banks threw the book away on prudent fiscal policies that worked for generations and relaxed standards for mortgages in order to generate more revenue making mortgages, like the United Auto Workers Union, they got too greedy.
Back in the 1950s, up until the late 1970s, the most efficient, prudent, and reliable policy of obtaining mortgages and the criteria was quite simple. The amount a person could qualify for in obtaining a mortgage was equivalent to only 25 percent of their gross income. All this changed with the advent of credit bureaus and new banking concepts such as Adjustable Rate Mortgages or ARM's as they are still called today. Ever since the 1980s, a new era of banking was ushered in. Eventually, corruption, fraud, and malfeasance resulted as fast as the ever changing ways banks reworded individual mortgage policies.
What also occurred during this transition in banking policies was that the Federal Government, in their attempt to spur economic growth, passed NAFTA. Little did our elected officials know that this trade agreement did the exact opposite of what it was designed to do. Consequently, ever since 1994, the United States has lost millions of middle class wage earning jobs. It seems that overnight, the United States, our strong manufacturing base economy, was almost eradicated. In the end, this left millions wallowing and languishing in desperation, hoping that, somehow, those jobs would return. As a result, our society has suffered through the millions of jobs lost, leaving families so impoverished that the once strong family unit in so many cases deteriorated. Our once stable economy was now no more.
Since the 1980s, more Americans were being lured into ARM's thinking that their lively hoods would always be there. Then, suddenly, job losses, stagnant wages, and loss of pensions meant that those ARMS put so many people in a position where they were unable to pay their mortgages. The mortgages that they took were now being sold at inflated prices to investment firms. When millions could no longer afford their Adjustable Rate Mortgages along with the millions more who had fixed rate mortgages by early 2007, the financial industry began to unravel. This resulted in one of the worst financial, economic, and social crises of our times. Massive foreclosures occurring daily, more people left out in the cold, and families being split, was the result of our whole economy being sucked right out from underneath us.
In 2008 all across America, the stunning and alarming rate of blighted neighborhoods was increasing at alarming rates, with each bank foreclosure. In every major city in the United States, unemployment rates exceeded 20 percent. The manufacturing foundation of our once strong, dominant economy had disappeared. What has replaced manufacturing is the service industry. This surge in the service industry has only produced a very limited number of workers who make real living wages. An example of a living wage for the Tampa area in Florida is not less than $ 25 per hr, or $ 52,000 per year. In Tampa, Florida, for those still employed, the average salary is only about $ 30,000 per year. This is with an unemployment rate in 2009 of over 20 percent. With those figures, there was no way to have enough tax revenue to take care of all the public services that are now mandated by law not only for the city of Tampa but all across the country. A domino effect in declining economies resulted. This only further pushed any hope of an economic reversal of fortunes from happening. Even though today the unemployment rates have improved wages are still falling way short to the overall cost of living and continue to push city budgets further into the red.
When the federal government stepped in with the massive bailout programs for the failed institutions that started this crisis in the first place, they only increased our national debt. Today, ten years later, those QE bailouts by the Fed have only increased the wealth of the financial institutions and the one percent. The American public are still left out in the cold. Our national debt has only multiplied, and when all is said and done, the Fed ever since 2009, with its $ 1.5 trillion of newly printed cash, has only created more inflation for the American public. We see it every day at the supermarket. The cost of everything continues to increase almost on a daily basis.
What has resulted today is that the federal government is controlling over 80 percent of all real estate and it is all based on credit. The recent tumble of the stock market indicates that our economy is just the tip of an economical and financial iceberg of economic calamity. The economy has not recovered, credit is all that is keeping many afloat, and individual incomes continue to stagnate and, in many cases, shrink. With the Fed raising interest rates, it only precludes the national debt is going to increase, and with the Trump budget, the national debt will continue to be like a hangman's noose, suffocating any real meaningful economic growth for all Americans.
Our political parties continue to miss the boat on putting together meaningful reforms that would allow the United States to significantly reduce the national debt while at the same time spur authentic economic growth. With the advent of wireless energy along with the many other technological marvels of today updating and securing our infrastructure as well as providing for the safety of all has to be a priority of major proportions.
Today, the world is fast becoming endangered by man's slow reaction to put in place protocols to negate the effects of the almost irreversible damage we have done to our planet. When major cities across the globe are under extreme fresh fresh water shortages where, at a moment's notice, drought conditions could ravage and send whole populations into hysteria, it is not what should happen. Yet the outlook for the near future, if nothing, is not done not only in the United States, but throughout the world, millions will be thrown into chaos where unimaginable hardships and horror await.
The time to act is now, but we have leaders in Washington and an administration that has only created a very toxic climate not only in DC, but throughout the world. Lest we forget China, North Korea, and even our neighbor, Mexico. The constant lies, the innuendoes, and the constant turmoil of the Trump White House are the sources of so much divisiveness. Instead of unity, there remains chaos. Instead of humility, there is bravado. Instead of benevolence, there is corruption and collusion. This is the reality we face today. Tragic, yes.
A crisis point is upon us and unless we come together as a united nation with a unified plan of direction, the future remains bleak. The United States really hasn't had a definitive plan of direction that pinpoints objectives to secure our future since John F. Kennedy. It is about time that our leaders looked to implementation of National Economic Reform's Ten Articles of Confederation, as that plan of direction. A plan of direction that will ensure that our future will be there for our children and for generations to come.