With 2015 just around the corner, it is time to reflect back and determine who or what were the biggest winners and losers of 2014. The more I think about it, we did not have very many winners in 2014. Sure, hedge fund managers and Wall Street banksters made out fine with the Dow Jones busting the 18,000 mark. But for most folks, that did nothing for their personal finances. Wages are still declining and jobs are still scarce despite the trumped-up numbers. One could say that Republicans were winners, regaining control of the Senate, as well as increasing their grip on the Congress and state legislatures. But trying to reward John Boehner or Mitch McConnell with these wins is a huge stretch. On the other hand, 2014 may be the Year of the Losers, as we have many examples to consider.
The American worker is still a big loser in 2014 as the ranks of the unemployed adults reached a percentage of the population not seen in over 40 years, since 1978. For the young, those under 30, and for minorities, joblessness also got worse in 2014. Barack Obama may claim that Blacks are doing better since he took office, but all of the economic indicators say otherwise. Our education system got worse with higher drop-out rates and don′t forget the chaos in school lunchrooms caused by First Lady Michelle Obama. Children who were hungry before the latest ′healthy food′ initiatives were enacted are even more hungry now. The amount of food being thrown out as garbage from school lunchrooms increased dramatically.
Health care also took one on the chin in 2014. While some claim that more Americans have health insurance, the numbers show that fewer people are getting medical attention due to higher co-pays and deductibles. While more workers entered the health care industry, mainly as clerks and bureaucrats, the number of doctors and nurses declined. Thank you, Obamacare!
On the international front, we have little, if anything, to cheer about. The Islamic State, or ISIS or ISIL, did quite well in 2014. Obama claims that the war in Afghanistan has now ended and that terrorism from there will never happen again. Yeah, Rrrrrright!!! If you believe that you′ll Jonathan Gruber. Oops, many of you did believe Gruber! Take your pick, China, Iran, North Korea, etc., there is not one place where America has better relations with. Our credibility with old favorites like Britain or Israel has declined.
The situation in general reminds me of the movie, ″The Wind and the Lion″, starring Sean Connery as a rebel, Arab sheik. There is one scene in particular where Sean is complaining how, ″…this has been a bad year, and the next will probably be worse.″ Some of the recent polls seem to point towards some optimism for 2015. But I have a feeling that once we are 3 months into the new year, we′ll be back to a state of national pessimism. Especially after we see what our choices will be for the 2016 presidential election. That is already shaping up to be pretty bad with a possible showdown between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. So who do you think was the biggest winner or loser in 2014? Its easy to just say Barack Obama is the biggest loser, especially after he forced two Army officers to move their weddings so he could play a round of golf. For me, this comes as no surprise, I expect him to irritate us all in some way.