We keep hearing about the great growth in the economy, but the majority of Americans don't see much of that.
The stock market is up but while that helps stockholders, it doesn't get down to the the unemployed, under-employed, and those no longer even looking for work.
"Productivity" is up, but every time a job is shipped off shore, "productivity" gets an upward tick and someone else is put out of a job here at home.
And small businesses, usually the the first to kick off a recovery with new jobs, are kicking the bucket instead.
'Bankruptcies are disproportionately hitting a key source of new employment.
'If the recovery is so great, why is job growth so sluggish? High productivity, imports from China, and outsourcing of jobs to India may all be part of the answer, but some bankruptcy experts also point to the troubles plaguing small businesses. They usually create most of the new jobs in the initial stages of a rebound. But this time, they're increasingly going belly-up and extinguishing jobs instead. In fact, for the first time since 1990, more businesses with more than one and fewer than 500 employees shut down in 2001 and 2002 than were created.
'All this is happening just as much economic data seem to show that small businesses are getting more upbeat. More applied for loans in 2003's last quarter than in the previous quarter, according to January's Federal Reserve survey of senior loan officers. Still, the specter of bankruptcy looms large for the throngs of companies that compete with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other discounters.' [Business Week 03/01/2004 subscription]
So what's the Bush administration doing to help?
'SBA Slams the Door on Borrowers