Here’s what the pain of transition to the new economy looks like

There is going to be a lot of pain as we transition into whatever the new economy is going to look like.

Just like it hurt to shift from an agrarian economy to an industrial economy, there will be hurt in the shift from industrial to whatever-we-name-the-new-thing economy.

Ron Fourner and Sophe Quinton describe that pain in How Americans Lost Trust in Our Greatest Institutions.

The authors use Muncie, Indiana and the economic devastation hitting the family of Mr. Johnny Whitmire as illustration.

Here’s what happens when public sector layoffs, a federal loan modification program that didn’t work, banks overwhelmed by the housing bubble, and struggling city government all let down one family:

He feels betrayed — not just by Obama, who won his vote in 2008, but by the institutions that were supposed to protect him: his state, which laid off his wife; his government in Washington, which couldn’t rescue homeowners who had played by the rules; his bank, which failed to walk him through the correct paperwork or warn him about a potential mortgage hike; his city, which penalized him for somebody else’s error; and even his employer, a construction company he likes even though he got laid off. “I was middle class for 10 years, but it’s done,” Whitmire says. “I’ve lost my home. I live in a trailer now because of a mortgage company and an incompetent government.”

Look at the list of who Mr. Whitmore believes let him down :  federal government, state government, banks, city government, and his employer.

The article outlines institutions that have failed Muncie: banks, mainline churches, local schools, the entire city council (which includes one convicted, criminally dishonest member and one intentionally deceitful mayor).  As an aside, it doesn’t matter which party you prefer, the -Rs and -Ds both inflamed the problem at the city council level.

It hurts to read the article. I suggest you read it anyway.

I fear there will be more pain.  Yet there’s no stopping the change that surrounds us.

We need to move through this transition quickly.  Any ideas on how to accelerate the shift?

(hat tip-

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