There are lots of good things happening in the United States. There is an oil boom, which is fueling (no pun intended; well, maybe a little intended) a manufacturing renaissance, even though some of the new manufacturing is working robotically.

There are bad things, too. Both houses of Congress seem to be disconnected from the real world; unemployment and underemployment are higher than we might like; and the market bounces around insanely every time there’s a scare or, for that matter, something positive happens.

My business friends have all learned to operate on a lean and mean basis — that means lots of productivity and not as many employees as in the old days. 

There are more and more oldsters — folks like me. Some work and some are retired. And there are fewer people to support us, which means the government needs to collect more money now from employees and employers in order to honor its promises. 

See, I said “now.”  Every day that we wait to collect new Social Security taxes adds to the future problem. This need for additional funding applies to Medicare and Medicaid as much as Social Security. Actually, Medicare and Medicaid are bigger problems than Social Security by far.  

See also: Later generations pay more for Medicare, Social Security

The economy can, in my opinion, fix itself. Business is doing its part, and individuals are working their socks off — if only the politicians would get together and act responsibility.  

Generally, I’m optimistic, and I’m praying for leadership in Washington. It is good to leave this blog on a positive note — state and local governments seem to be doing much better than the federales and acting responsibly. 

Have a fantastic week and seek out good leaders and offer to help.

 

For more from Richard Hoe, see:

Amazon and the future of bookselling

7 important retirement equations

Fear vs. logic