Sure, it was the greed of mortgage-lenders and Wall Street that led to our recession. But its consumers that are perpetuating it. Most economists will tell you that recessions are mostly in the consumers minds. If consumers are worried and reduce spending, our economy drops. When consumers start spending, our economy rises.
Now, I understand that there are several overriding issues that led to this particular recession, not the least of which is the redistribution of wealth upward (10 percent of Americans now control nearly 71 percent of all U.S. assets). Nevertheless, we have the power to fix it.
For one, we can vote for political candidates who are more concerned about ordinary citizens than the wealthy and the corporations that finance their political campaigns.
When possible, we can purchase American-made products. Not just products with American brands, but products that actually say made in America on the product or the packaging. I understand that its increasingly difficult to find American-made products, and that they sometimes cost more than those made elsewhere, but there is no better way to create or ensure American jobs. For example, a Chevrolet or Ford is not only assembled in the U.S. by American workers, many of the parts are made in the U.S. and the profits go to American-based companies that pay taxes in the U.S. This isnt protectionism. Its simply common sense.
Finally, we can individually and collectively boycott corporations that dont operate in our best interests. Given their recent behavior, why would anyone continue to patronize the too-big-to-fail banks when there are so many other alternatives? So even if you feel that voting for political candidates doesnt change anything. Voting with your purchases most definitely can.