Politicians have played a dangerous game of smoke and mirrors. Obama has repeatedly sighted signs economic improvement that the people know to be false. Reduced unemployment has largely been factor of low labor force participation, the lowest in fact in over thirty years. Rising coverage among the uninsured has masked rising premium costs for the rest of the paying insured population – in effect a healthy bonus given to the insurance industry for playing along. Absolutely nothing has been done to strengthen America’s trade position, and we continue to run high deficits against our major trading partners who are only too willing to supply us with enough cheap credit to hang ourselves.
And the reason why the U.S. Government and Federal Reserve decided to pursue a weak monetary policy has little to do with achieving full employment. It was because, again, it wanted to preserve asset values for the ultra-rich and well connected. This is why the Republican establishment blocked any efforts at using a fiscal stimulus during the downturn, insisted on austerity, and even accepted cuts to military expenditures in return for cuts to social programs. This was class warfare on steroids, and the establishment wings of both parties conspired together to implement it.