Chart from Jim Pethokoukis of AEI.
America faces an unprecedented debt crisis, true. What is not conventional wisdom is that America could face renewed, even unprecedented, greatness if a decent leader comes forward.
Given that the Republican party seems incapable of getting its collective crap together, that scenario seems unlikely, though.
Businesses are, at this point, forcing themselves to not grow. They are unwilling to take on more risk. They’re keeping cash on hand. They’re paying down debt. They’re waiting.
Individuals are doing the same. Part of it is that they don’t qualify for credit even if they wanted it. Part of it is that they don’t want it.
Still, this unrealized creation and growth waits for the right catalyst.
Obama, is not a catalyst. Quite the contrary, he’s an inhibitor. Hell, he antagonizes any growth potential.
Obama’s actions are so frustrating to expansion that even apathetic business people are paying attention. Usually business folks lobby hard for their interests–they win some, they lose some and they work around the bureaucracy and incorporate the rules and regulations and taxes and fees into the cost of doing business. Not so now. Everyone can thank Obama for being so persecutorial rhetorically and prosecutorial policy-wise, businesses are being put out of business. That’s attention-getting.
The business world is now in open rebellion. Screw you, Obama, we’ll just not spend any money, period. Zilch. The cozy win-win we had going on is over. Sure, we’ll throw some money at you on the outside chance you get re-elected–we don’t want to be the subject of your direct ire. Instead, we’ll do just enough to get by everywhere.
A couple things about this:
America should never be so beholden to the executive branch that one person can do so much damage to the economy. And yet, here we are, and business is mostly to blame. By lobbying tirelessly for the government’s favor and selling their souls (Walmart and the AARP’s obsequious deference on Obamacare comes to mind) to obtain that favor, business leaders find out [surprise!] that’s what’s given can be taken away. Obama has been busily taking away or threatening to do so.
Businesses can afford to lobby the government, but the individual has been marginalized. Businesses were totally fine with that so long as individuals could still afford to buy their wares. Nothing like a long, deep recession to drive home the point that poor people don’t buy stuff.
So, while the cozy relationship benefits businesses for a while, eventually, people have to be forced to buy stuff and people resist being forced to buy stuff (see also really expensive light bulbs). So they just stop buying stuff they don’t want (see also solar panels and the Chevy volt.) And those businesses, warmed by the loving embrace of government tax breaks, bailouts and inducements find themselves screwed. No one wants expensive, useless crap. It’s bad enough when it’s cheap. But the stuff the government touches gets very expensive.
So the individual revolts, too. He stops buying. And if the government creates perverse economic incentives long enough, he loses his job and can’t buy stuff.
And that’s where were at in America.
America is profoundly in debt. America is jobless. America is sitting on the capital it does have.
Obama is making everything worse.
And yet, America is primed for some success–if the GOP can muster something. A steady hand, reduced government interference, positive rhetoric, assurances that businesses aren’t going to be raked over the coals (or given an unfair advantage either), etc.
In a word: growth.
That requires political change and a person willing to articulate a sunny, hopeful message to encourage growth but willing to make some tough decisions–i.e. cut government spending.
More on why this is not likely to happen in the next post.
More Jobless Claims: Obama Administration & Press [But That’s Redundant] Flummoxed By “Unexpected” Economic NewsThursday, April 15th, 2010
Okay, I might have made up that last part. It’s true, though, the jobless claims have gone up again. My prediction? They’ll continue to go up for a while, unfortunately. If gas prices inflate (and they will), costs to employers inflate across the board. Makes it tough to hire more people.
In the week ending April 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 484,000, an increase of 24,000 from the previous week’s unrevised figure of 460,000. The 4-week moving average was 457,750, an increase of 7,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 450,250.
Also, as Ed Morrissey points out, the government is still hiring thousands of temporary workers so that means that the private sector is losing significantly more jobs–thousands of them.
If the Democrats succeed in enacting more of their policies, permanent joblessness will be the American way.
Thanks, President Obama!
More unintended consequences. For doctors who offer payment plans for patients who can’t afford to pay up front, a new regulation by the government. It’s designed to “fix” problems, don’t you know:
Our new ad below. Learn more at StopTheCFPA.com.
“Of course I allow my patients to pay in installments. They couldn’t afford orthodontics otherwise. Does that make me a financial company?”
Legislation that has passed the House and is pending in the Senate would create a new regulatory agency with the power to regulate a small business that allows its customers to pay in more than four installments or applies late fees –Senate Bill § 1027(a)(2)(B)(iii)– This is the wrong way to fix financial regulation and the wrong way to protect consumers. Let’s get it right by working together on a commonsense solution without creating a new $410 million big government bureaucracy with powers to regulate businesses that had nothing to do with the financial crisis.
I’m sure this video is meant to be somehow affirming:
Used to be, that a woman was reduced to her bits and pieces by the creepy old guy in the office who didn’t know better. You know, he was from the older generation, like Bill Clinton.
This nonsense is being foisted on women by Reebok. It’s supposed to be an encouragement to what? Wear more revealing tops so guys don’t stare at a girl’s fabulous butt?
The video is so stupid, condescending and sexist that it makes me completely disinterested in ever buying anything Reebok again. The thing is, I’m not prudish. I also get the notion that “sex sells”. But the flaw in this video is the substance as much as the form. Reebok indulges in the worst of stereotypes–competitive petty women angling to get the most male attention–and turns a woman against herself. She competes with herself. That is, her boobs want to best her butt. What the hell?
Via @Ziggy_Susan on Twitter
Federal government employees make nearly 100% more, on average, per year, than the average American worker. With the deficit soaring, Nancy Pelosi suggested a 19% pay increase. President Obama is getting props for saying it should be 2%.
Pardon me, but what the hell?
Private sector employees are either taking a cut in hours, are laid off or have pay freezes–because that’s what people do to stay competitive in a down economy.
But with the American taxpayer ponying up for Federal employees wages, the sky is the limit. What a disgusting system.
Are you guys sick of the topic yet?
Well, here’s where I agree with Barack Obama, it’s happening this year or never. I’m voting for never. The reason why there is so much emphasis on getting this done is because should the economy pick up and people start being employed again, the fear and discomfort will ease and people will get more rational again and remember that America is already in debt up to it’s eyeballs and can’t afford to pay for everyone’s health care.
My biggest concern with Government Run health care is that the government will run it and run you. That is, your life will be controlled from cradle to grave. You will eat a certain way…or else. You will do certain things…or else. And the government will have every motivation to force you down a path.
Ultimately, this is a civil liberties issue. Some people say that not having health care for all is shameful in such a wealthy country. Shameful is the notion of a bureaucrat deciding whether you live or die based on the metrics of a chart. That’s shameful. And that would be our future. It is a future I don’t want to see.
Just look at the big government, totalitarian groups that are for this mess. It should give you an idea of what you’d have to look forward to in the future.
Some are saying that Universal Health Care is likely to pass. Doesn’t this sound good?
But I want to remind everyone of something: Congress regulated Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae. Congress gave GM $62 BILLION and now, GM is going bankrupt which is what they should have done months ago. That’s your tax dollars. The United States government has shown itself to be a poor steward of our resources.
Why should we trust them with health care?
I will be talking about Health Care issues this week on RFCradio.com tonight at 10 Eastern, 9 Central and will chat with you, too, and welcome your questions.
We Need An Ethics Czar
Why not? We have every other kind of czar now. What we need is an ethical President.
Finding Your Inner Courage
Great article–fortitude in tough times.