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Understanding America's Economic Doldrums (2008-2012)
We reproduce below a letter from Jeff Herman of Bell Canyon, California to the editors of The Wall Street Journal published online on August 1, 2012 and in the print version, Opinion section, on August 2, 2012. It is published here as it is about as clear a statement as can be made about the cause of the lingering unemployment problem in America. Reading this brief essay one gathers that Americans generally, not everybody of course, indulged in a long-lasting binge of borrowing and consuming which has caused a long-lasting hangover. The author hints at but does not highlight the role of the U.S. federal state in encouraging consumption in preference to saving, borrowing over investing, and acting generally as a prototype for financial irresponsibility. "Mortimer Zuckerman accurately lays out why 'Unemployment Is Still the Biggest Election Issue' (op-ed, July 24). What he does not tell your readers is why the unemployment situation will not change anytime soon. "Consumer spending