Who Is to Blame for the Economy ?
Who Is to Blame for the Economy ?
I generally think politicians play only a tangential role in the economy...they can make it better or worse, but generally their contribution is drowned out by other effects. As I see it, here are the main things that politicians could have done differently to help the economy:
1. Bill Clinton could have vetoed a repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. Congressional Republicans could have not passed it in the first place.
2. Bill Clinton could have not appointed Alan Greenspan as Fed chairman.
3. George Bush could have not appointed Alan Greenspan as Fed chairman.
4. George Bush could have implemented taxation policies that were not skewed so dramatically toward the rich, thus increasing consumer confidence when the recession hit.
5. Barack Obama could have focused more on bailing out underwater mortgage-holders, rather than merely the financial institutions that sold them.
6. Congressional Republicans could have not stonewalled on Obama's stimulus, which would have put more money in the pockets of consumers.
I will say that both George Bush and Barack Obama did an excellent job dealing with the immediate financial crisis itself. The major screwups occurred before and after.
Are you coming to bed?
I can't. This is important.
Someone is WRONG on the internet! -XKCD
I love the NSA. It's like having a secret fan-base you will never see, but they're there, watching everything you write and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that I may be some person's only form of unconstitutional entertainment one night.
I generally blame poor people.
If they'd just stop being so damned poor we'd all be a lot better off.
But seriously, the economy is stagnant because nobody knows what to expect in the short term and the long term looks mighty bleak no matter what happens.
Would you really be interested in making a sizable investment when you don't know if the government is going to tax the hell out of your success or nationalize you or pass an executive order that effectively puts you out of business? We need a congress that refrains from knee jerk legislation and an administration that refrains from threats, demonization and abrupt power grabs.
I think it is a lot of reasons too. Bush for one, the banks for another, Congress, big business, the real estate market, and to some extent John Q Public
"Those who do not learn from history and condemned to relive it".
"There are those who will debate the necessity of wilderness, I will not, either you know it in your bones or you are very very old". Aldo Leopold - Sand County Almanac
The economy is what it is, blame lies with nobody and everybody.
I love the smell of face-palm in the morning!
"You ain't no Muslim bruv!"
Without the nation's New Pearl Harbor, you don't get the massive tanking of the USD. The dollar was as strong as it had been against most major currencies in several years and there was no serious fear of deep recession. The Fed would have had room to do a much more abbreviated lowering of rates over a much shorter period of time, in order to provide enough stimulus to the economy.
But, the real question was about who is to blame, which is another way of saying, how could this have been prevented - else, there really is no reason to ask the question. So, given that Obama, was not in office when the economy imploded, and nothing he did caused the economy to implode, I would suggest that trying to blame Obama, for the economy is not recognizing contemporary history for what it is. He simply was not the President at the time things blew up. From a purely logical standpoint, if you don't deal with the financial institution crisis and you know full well that banks are the ultimate source of liquidity, then you end up doing nothing more than placing a band-aid on a broken leg, by dealing only with foreclosures.
Obama, tried to do both at the same time - but the history of the sequence of events, put the liquidity crunch front and center. So, I'm sure that the focus on solving that problem, loomed heavily as well. They were not easy decisions to make and this is one of those examples that highlights that point. If the President, had allowed the entire financial system to collapse, he would have been run out of town without question.
It is very likely, the no President would be presiding over any better an economy today, than what President Obama, presides over right now. There is only so much that any President can do in times like these, and given what he had to work with upon entering office, I think President Obama, even according to Bill Clinton, who presided over the creation of more than 20 million new jobs, has done an outstanding jobs in leading the country away from certain economic depression and far worse times, to a place where the economy now has something of a floor underneath it an a chance to sustain a recovery.
The bigger question at this point, is where does the U.S. economy go from here?
- Do we try to revive an old oil based economy that has no real manufacturing based and no real middle class income stability, as we continue to outsource those jobs overseas?
-Do we try to build a brand new alternative energy based economy, where we create an entirely new line of manufacturing opportunities for thousands of new companies engaged in the research, development and construction new energy hardware, core products and technology that we can use to make ourselves energy independent, and then export overseas for the biggest economic boom cycle this country has ever seen.
Those are the two extremely different visions facing voters this election and those two very different roads could not lead this country into more distinctively different places.