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Economics; The World's Most Important Subject:

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Good Morning Middle America, the King of Simple News is on the air.

I love economics and yes, I’m a sick man. They call economics “the dismal science.” I don’t think so. It’s the most important subject in the world and the most interesting if presented properly.

As those of you who have read my book or follow my columns know, I use “Mikemathics” and “Mikeronomics” to simplify the otherwise boring stuff that one normally associates with the subject.

How important is economics? If you are Middle America, it’s as serious as a heart attack. It’s your job, your home, your family and your future all wrapped up in a neat little package. Let’s test that last statement.

Will all of you who think the U.S. can maintain status quo as an information and services based economy please hold up your hand.

How about those who think Social Security and Medicare will be around for your kids to benefit from? One more question, how many think that your kids can pay the $50 Trillion in debt that we are leaving them? Okay, about 20 people have their hands up. Let’s do this differently, will everyone who is not running for president, show hands again. That’s better, no one believes these things are possible.

Each and every day, there are announcements such as this, “John, Melinda, we have good news and bad new for you. The good news is that you are getting two pay checks this week. The bad news is that one of them is your severance pay and also your last check. Have a very merry Christmas.”

That’s economics folks. John and Melinda’s jobs went to China. Those folks over there will work for far less money and that is economics. Is the subject getting more interesting? It did for John and Melinda. There is no end to the drain of good U.S. jobs. I don’t care what the politicians say.

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Do something for me. Get interested enough in economics to ask your favorite presidential candidate what they are specially going to do about the base U.S. economy. Remember, get specifics.

Some say they will fix Social Security, but then Social Security is not predicted to be broke until 2041. And who really cares if you don’t have a job in 2008?

What about Medicare? Not a whole lot of serious talk about that one huh? That’s because Medicare is predicted to be insolvent by 2019, eleven short years from now. I think that is incorrect for more reasons than I have time to write, it will be much sooner.

One major reason for Medicare failing sooner is that the 2019 date is predicated on exponential growth of our economy. That isn’t happening. And if you have no viable job next year, who cares about 2019? That’s economics again. Getting more interesting isn’t it?

I sat next to a young CPA on a flight lately and he told me he was worried for his entire generation. He went on to say that he was an auditor who works for the benefit of large companies in auditing their accounts for billing and tax errors. His concern? Many of the companies that he audits have their taxes prepared in India! That’s correct, U.S. taxes prepared in India.

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The man on the other side joined the conversation and said that all of his company’s manufacturing was done off shore and that the computer programs which he had originally written, were now produced in India. But, he seemed proud to add that he and several of his colleagues were responsible for debugging those programs due to the Indians making errors. I answered, “They’ll get better at it.”

Ask your favorite candidate what his or her grand defined plan for Middle Class job retention and growth is. They’ll switch subjects faster than you can kiss a duck.

Many politicians point to education as the answer? Refer to the paragraph above regarding my seat mates. Asians, East Indians and South Koreans certainly aren’t uneducated.

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Mike Folkerth is the author of "The Biggest Lie Ever Believed" and is not your run-of-the-mill author of finance and economics. The former real estate broker, developer, private real estate fund manager, auctioneer, Alaskan bush pilot, (more...)
 

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