Creating Balance on Unstable Grounds

Story by Spencer Peters

The current status of the American economy has everyone in the country and many around the world concerned over the government’s ability to regain financial stability. There has been progress made but at an alarmingly slow rate which puts little hope in to a bright and prosperous future for current and future generations.
To further discuss the current economic state, the University of Utah brought in the New York Times’ Chief Financial Correspondent, Floyd Norris, who presented “What’s Wrong with the American Economy?” on October 26th in the Marriott Library’s Gould Auditorium to a collection of students and faculty. This was one of the many presentations offered during the Fifteenth Annual Siciliano Forum presented by the Hinckley Institute of Politics during the week of October 24th.
With the struggling economy not only in the United States but currently all around the world, it’s crucial that citizens have faith and a sense of security that the government will in fact make the right decisions, however that is not the case. Based off a CBS and New York Times poll, Norris described how the amount of people who trust the U.S. government to do the right thing always or most of the time has been drastically declining to where only 10 percent of the population still believes in the government’s actions, the lowest it has ever been.
Norris offered staggering statistic from the New York Times about the lack of trust that the American people have in their government. University of Utah student, John Foote said, “It doesn’t appear that there is much being done currently to create any stability moving forward, just more confusion and deceit.”
Norris used a quote from presidential candidate hopeful Herman Cain, “Don’t blame Wall St., don’t blame big banks, if you don’t have a good job and you aren’t rich, blame yourself.” Cain’s blunt honesty helps shed light on the reliance that has been put on supporting the underachieving or unwilling which has led the successful Americans to lose confidence because of bailouts.
Currently there is lots of emphasis that the government is there to offer support in every way possible, but in reality, that just isn’t feasible. There has to be a balance between aiding and taking full responsibility for people. Norris said, “Bankers need to understand their main role is to help the economy, not bailout the people.” This thought reflects on Aristotle’s Golden Mean which states “the mean between two extremes.” It’s a philosophy of moderation and compromise, a desirable middle ground between extremes, one of excess and one of deficiency.
The term “joint sacrifice” was later mentioned as an idea of people willing to give up more in order to help us emerge from our troubling situation. Norris said, “I would love to hear, ‘I love this country and I want to help it. I’m proud to pay taxes and I’d be happy to pay more if it’ll get us out of this mess.’”
Utah student, Wylie Shepard on joint sacrifice said, “If in the long run it were to help bring balance to the economy I could support it, but in moderation.”
Norris concluded his presentation with a brief question and answer session giving the audience a chance to voice opinions, concerns, or obtain clarification.