This thread is intended to discuss the abysmal state of the American economy. To wit, it's often stated in the many media that the economy is improving. It seems generally that no one of our ilk believes this to be the case. At best, it is a temporary recovery that will likely produce the same kind of speculation driven economic booms of the dot-com or real estate eras.
However, I actually believe that the US could have the ability theoretically to pull out of this situation. I say theoretically because the real issue doesn't seem to hinge on resources. If I recall correctly, the Marshall Plan in Europe, touted as a great success for redevelopment of a devastated realm, involved around 17 billion usd. Now I have no idea what that would be adjusted to today's dollars, but even accounting for that I presume that it would be far less than our annual budget deficits. What I'm saying is that we are routinely spending far more than a project which ostensibly restored Europe to prosperity in the postwar era, and what have we to show for it?
There are so many things that the government could do with this money. Take, just for an example, infrastructure. We have heard ad nauseam that this is in need of an overhaul. Railroads could realistically supply the future's mass transit needs, judging from all of the rail lines that were laid down from the 19th century to the present. Yet, do we ever even hear the government employees discuss this as an option? It seems there is an utter, utter lack of imagination at the top.
One thing I've noticed is that it seems that every spare dollar that would be available for 'civic projects', if you will, is captured by some special interest group before it has the ability to be allocated for some useful purpose. Add to this all of the as-yet-unfunded liabilities, and it seems all of the resources of the government are to be captured for the foreseeable future to come also.
What, if anything, can be done about this? Please add your thoughts, I know there are people here who will have some valuable opinions about this.