Really?? You honestly believe that the American Dream has been slipping away because of Obama? I always thought that our government could use more engineers (vs. lawyers) because we are analytical, hard working and data driven independent thinkers and problem solvers. Your post above made me doubt the correctness of my beliefs regarding our engineering community.
I don't take such emotion-filled polls very seriously. Every time the economy is down, the masses become overly dramatic, with predictions that it will never get any better. The same thing happened during the "malaise" Carter years, for those old enough to remember. "Stagflation," so called, would be with us forever. Then in 1981, oil was deregulated. And then everything took off again, in spite of the previous "malaise" and dire predictions.
On the other side of that coin, during the .com bubble, people were being just as illogical, making ridiculous amounts of money on vapor, and thinking that's all it took. I guess they found out differently. So, like then, whatever is the situation today gets extrapolated to become the supposed permanent state of affairs.
What we need now is politicians who quit blaming the previous administration for this state of the economy, and look instead in the mirror. The jobs aren't coming back yet because government policies are holding businesses back. A government that thinks it's more capable than individuals and businesses, to create economic growth. A government that believes a strong economy can be achieved with mere consumer spending, and government spending on the maintenance of infrastructure. These are absurd notions. Just as absurd as the get rich schemes of the vapor-filled .com bubble days.
Not to mention, have you noticed how many politicians these days talk about "the middle class" when they really mean "the working poor?" Government policies that are primarily aimed at increasing the spending ability of "the working poor," important as that might be, are hardly the policies that will spur economic growth.
So, as far as I'm concerned, this downturn will certainly end. This is still the land of opportunity. But we need to fire the politicians who think that THEY embody that opportunity, or that THEY are the ones who can lead people to it. These are ideas best left the dictatorships of the "less fortunate" countries.
The first dot-com boom convinced a lot of the countries brightest young minds that all you needed was a dorm room, an idea and six months. Then you'd go IPO, cash out your millions and live the life of leisure from then on. A lot of people decided that sustained hard work and producing real value were just for the old fogies, that we were dinosaurs and just didn't get the "New economy."
There was never a new economy. It's all the same. You have to work hard. You have to be creative. You have to stick to it and not let the dips get you down. The obstacles change all the time but they've always been there to one degree or another.
The late seventies and early eighties kind of run together. It takes more than two years even for a visionary to turn things around and I think economically, '82 might have been the peak. It was uphill in the right direction for a long time after that. But to your point I think we did start to see the light at the end of the tunnel as far back as the election in November 1980.
You describe the early Eighties like I remember the late Seventies. Either way that awesome decade was mamorable not for its early years, but for its recovery and the renewal of Americas greatness. And we got out of that mess by following a president who beleived deeply in the American Dream and American Exceptionalism. After three years of waiting for Hope and Change it is obvious that we don't have that now. And until we have a president who respects the American Dream for all, not just those on his friends list: government workers, union bosses, crony capitalist of the "green" agenda, achademia, anyone who depends on the above, occupy types, welfare recipients etc. the American Dream is on hold, sadly.
The American Dream is still alive. People just have to remember that you have to "WORK" for it. I think too many people expect to just walk in and be a millionaire. It never worked that way. You have to have the inspiration and then do the persperation part to get your rewards. Yes, it is not easy. It never was. It never will be. Only you can determine your success. Waiting for it to happen will not work. Working to make it happen gives you your only chance.
read this article. after the dotcom era went bust, the finance and operations people promoted themselves in charge and metrics for everything took over. In addition to using microsoft office suite for anything and everything and reducing the entire operation to fixed formula. The result? customers and the basics were lost. how come the USA was an economic powerhouse before financial metrics and microsoft office suite? read this article
When the PC revolution mellowed, along came the Internet revolution. Now we have robotics about to catch fire. It's different now. It's never been easy. It's not easy now. But it's not over. Not by a long shot.