In homes across America, citizens are asking themselves these questions.
"What's happening in United States?"
"Why is the economy in turmoil?"
"What needs to be done to fix the problem?"
I see two powerful solutions:
1. We need to elect the right political leaders
2. With surplus personal funds, we need to increase our purchases of products from American businesses.
From a national perspective, our economic woes don't seem to be solved at the U.S. Government level.
Congress and the president are locked in an ideological battle.They fight among themselves to make their respective plans the right answer.
Sadly, the lack of real progress and change in Washington, D.C., continues unabated, affecting us all.
It's hard for me to believe that the bipartisan supercommittee charged to lower the massive deficit was unable to find the cuts and revenues to solve an impending national crisis.
What was the committee thinking?
Is not the nation hanging by a thin and frayed economic thread? I might be na?e, but I believe a few smart and experienced businessmen and women from our community, working together, could have developed a terrific economic recovery plan in a few weeks — one that was objective, viable, results-oriented and imbued confidence in government.
Of course, this suggestion is not happening and the country continues down a path of self-destruction.
So, what can be done to fix the mess? What can we personally do?
Elect responsible leaders
First, we can elect national political leaders who will go to Washington, D.C., and vote for what's right, not for what's expedient.
We need leaders who will be ethical, show courage, be selfless and avoid the pressures of lobbyists and the bullies in Congress with personal motives.
We need leaders who will strengthen our economy and eliminate the barriers to growth and prosperity.
We also need to voice our concerns. Our federal representatives need to know how we feel, not from just a few of us, but from all of us. Remember it's a government of (all) the people, by the people and for the people.
Once our legislators are in office, we need to hold them accountable for their votes.
We need to see a regular scorecard on how they voted on each topic and why.
We should regularly review bills before Congress and the actions taken by our elected officials.
Furthermore, I suggest we communicate how we feel about certain issues directly to our leaders via email, letters and phone.
We cannot sit on the side line. We all need to get in the game.
Spend surplus money
The second thing we can do is to increase our support of area businesses by spending surplus money. Economists call this approach the paradox of thrift.
Our duty and responsibility, locally and nationally, is to support our risk-taking business owners by buying their products and services and encouraging our family and friends to do the same.
We all need to responsibly increase our spending levels, from any personal surplus funds, with more purchases to move the economy forward and upward. Even an increase of 10 percent would represent a profoundly positive change in America's economy.
More revenue, from our purchases, means more cash and profits for a company that facilitates the hiring of more employees at a higher wage. In the end, the number of unemployed and underemployed Americans drops, workers will have more to spend, new homes will be built, mortgages will be paid and new cars will be purchased.
Keep in mind I am speaking in general terms. There are citizens who should obviously get out of debt, destroy their credit cards and live within their means. These individuals and families should not spend more money.
The best thing we can do for ourselves is to make sure American companies are profitable and growing. In a back handed way, we, as consumers, are investing in America's economy.
I believe we are better equipped to do this than government. If this were to happen across the United States, we would see the stock market and gross national product index rise to new heights with consumer confidence and prosperity increasing dramatically.
Let's agree it will take faith, patience and trust in our free enterprise system for this to occur. But, once we proceed, we will see that it works, as planned. I believe it's time we give it a try.
How do we fix America's economy? We do it by electing selfless political leaders with a clear vision and a thoughtful economic action plan, one that restores our confidence in government. We personally fix the economy by spending surplus funds (investing) at higher levels of consumption.
In short, we are the catalyst of change to build a robust economy. It's in our hands, which is where it should be.
Alan E. Hall is a co-founding managing director of Mercato Partners, a regionally focused growth capital investment firm. He founded Grow Utah Ventures, is the founder of MarketStar Corp. and is the chairman of the Utah Technology Council.
Portions of this article appeared in the Ogden Standard Examiner.