The economy should no longer be about how we got here

During what has become a long, arduous and often times tedious economic recovery, it’s surprising some still have have skin considering the incessant amount of hand-wringing being done here locally, around the state and, of course, nationally.

Patience, be it in politics or in the pocketbook, is rarely if ever considered a virtue in these instances. People want answers, assurances and at least a little bit of money to spend. Unfortunately for ALL of us, the road to prosperity out of what for all intents and purposes was a depression remains one with ample mileage to travel.

The deck, as it were, was stacked against a quick fix this time around, due mainly because of where the biggest impact of the down-turn hit; home ownership and banking.

Drowning in red ink because their properties were mortgaged and/or refinanced to the hilt, consumers often had no other financial means to draw upon. Their purchasing power zapped, it had a domino affect on the buying and selling of goods and services. And because banks were at the heart of the problem, credit, for those fortunate few consumers and business owners who could use it wisely and needed an injection of cash, wasn’t readily available and is still in somewhat short of supply.

Faced with these core quandaries, a polarized political populace in Washington, D.C. has continued to bang heads rather than bring minds together. On both sides at the edges, they continue to use so-called “wedge” or “hot-button” issues (i.e. immigration and abortion) in an attempt to divert focus from their inaction.

Austerity, especially by our counterparts in Europe but also locally, has been the most-oft used prescription. The measure stops the bleeding for sure, we in East Providence should know that, but it has shown itself to be far from the cure.

Here in the city, in the state and in the country, we find ourselves in this precarious economic predicament not just because of our actions the last year or two or four or 12. We’re where we are because of the cumulative effect of policies and practices that did not work, because propositions and postulations were way off, because we failed, as we have so often in the past, to learn from lessons of history.

Economic recovery usually takes many twists and turns. What is needed now is coalescence behind a common and considered aim, not more griping and hand-wringing about how we got here.

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