The summer of 2011 is easing itself into the history books.
It will go down as a summer marked by deepening discontent over the national predicament – which is, simply put – it appears we’ve come nearly the end of the line of leading lives continually spending and borrowing more than we have or more than we can ever pay back.
There was a rude awakening that came over this summer. It was more damaging mentally and economically than Hurricane Irene and its effects remain with us long after the default debate that nearly brought us down, again.
The national economy nearly collapsed in 2008. Collectively, we believed that was behind us and talk in Washington that everything was going to be OK abounded once the worst of the economic nightmare and recession had passed.
But then the doubts, the acrimony, the almost complete abrogation of common sense, came back to haunt us during the summer when the national government debated over the efficacy of defaulting on our obligations.
That fight during this summer nearly over sent most of us spinning just a bit as everything positive about the economy coming back was literally sucked out of it by the banal and insipid posturing of the Democrats and Republicans in Washington.
We nearly brought ourselves down but then apparently came to our senses.
But did we?
Have we regained our footing enough to move forward following this summer of our discontent.
It doesn’t appear that way and a double dip recession seems more likely as the summer speeds to its end.
There is still no job creation. We continue to spend as a nation far more than we take in and our politicians have agreed you can’t cut the spending for the two wars that have already cost about $2 trillion and continue to drain us at a rate of a few billion dollars a month.
Medicare remains a question mark. Everyone in government knows it is bankrupting the nation but that, too, has not been touched. Social Security takes care of itself and with a few minor tweaks, it can be made sustainable – bit this too, did not pass during the summer.
What we have is Republicans saying we need to cut taxes to cause business to step up to the plate to add jobs. But consumers aren’t consuming the way they used to. So simply expanding can’t happen because there is no expanding marketplace to buy a new flood of goods.
What’s the use.
Boston is packed with about 250,000 students coming back. For them, the end of summer is simply the beginning of a grand new year away at college.
Boston has the countenance of boom and wealth and things are better for Americans living out their lives here rather than in many places throughout the nation
And for all of us with kids going back to school, there is much ambition in all of that experience, as well as some consternation related to exactly where our child is attending school.
If you are older, retired, or nearing the end of your professional or business career, the future remains hopeful but not as clear to predict.
Overall, the summer of 2011 was good weather, lots of beach and not much coming from our national leadership. And make no mistake, we need leadership more than ever before.
Perhaps this will follow in the fall soon to be upon us and then the winter, which isn’t too far away.