Latest Issue

Four Words

“It’s the economy, stupid.”

Perhaps no truer words of advice were ever given to a politician than those uttered by political strategist James Carville during Bill Clinton’s 1992 run for the White House. But it really doesn’t matter if those four impactful words were expressed during the 1492 Mayflower voyage or to those that might be contemplating a 2024 presidential run; if the economy isn’t working, everyone is in for a bad time.

This country was founded as the United States of America, but sadly today, not even the two camps wearing red and blue are united on the same page with one another.

There used to be a joke that you couldn’t trust a used car salesman. But if you’ve been paying any attention, just about anyone selling a used car today has a higher approval rating than those individuals elected to political office.

Recently released figures revealed that 85% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, including 92% of Republicans and 78% of Democrats.

President Biden’s approval rating continues to plummet, with 36% approving and 59% disapproving. Only 15% of all Americans give Congress their approval, with 85% disapproving. Another Gallup survey reports public confidence has fallen in every one of 16 major U.S. institutions.

Those institutions in which Americans have the least confidence are the presidency, newspapers, the criminal justice system, big business, television news, and at rock bottom, Congress at 7%. Those institutions enjoying the greatest measure of confidence are small businesses, the military, the police, the medical system, and religious institutions.

These figures are scary stuff. History reveals that, like the Roman Empire itself, the most destructive blows to a national fabric come from within. Sadly, we are quickly headed down that slippery slope. It matters little what the political persuasion is; everyone should heed Carville’s four magical words — immediately, if not sooner.

The current attack on America’s energy industry is spreading ill akin to the coronavirus. The soaring prices at the pump do not stand alone. Every business finds it more expensive to receive goods, and every consumer bears the increased prices at the cash register because of it.

The rash of mass shootings, the crisis at our southern border, the dispute over Roe vs. Wade, the war in Ukraine, and the debate over global warming are all problems creating division among us, but if the woes of our economy are not addressed properly — a much greater peril will exist.

During a recent conversation with a financial advisor, I learned the first six months of 2022 have been the worst half of a year for the stock market in 50 years and so far, has been the worst year ever for the bond index. During April and June, the S&P declined by more than 8%, its worst showing since March of 2020. For some, June’s financial picture was very grim. One investor revealed that during June, his portfolio lost $77,000, more than he had ever made in a single calendar year while he was working.

Just weeks ago, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to step down from office after his government was left disabled by a wave of resignations, tales of parties during the COVID-19 lockdown, and what many publicly referred to as his lack of integrity.

While the seat of our government is spending weeks reviewing the shameful events of January 6, they and we might be better served if they

1) take a look around at what’s happening in our country;

2) look themselves in the mirror; and

3) heed James Carville’s words – “IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID!”