06 October 2008
When all is said and done...
The polls are swinging consistently in favor of Obama. The economic crisis has proven the old adage that all politics are local. When people begin to worry about their savings, jobs and ability to pay their bills, they will grasp at any new idea - no matter how flimsy. Ironically, during an external crisis (war, for example) people are unwilling to swap leadership as the risk appears too great. Make no mistake, Senator Obama has no better plan for the economy than John McCain and his economic viewpoint is more at odds with a capitalistic, free-market society than anyone. What will mitigate his approach will be the economic reality on the ground. He can not possibly make fundamental changes with entitlement programs consuming the bulk of his budget and potentially flat revenue.
The next president will have to face down excessive spending, reignite capital movement and (hopefully) foster innovation as a source of growth for the nation. Unlike those on the far left of the spectrum who boldly proclaimed their intention to depart the United States for other lands, I have no intention of doing so. A nation run by Barack Obama will STILL be head and shoulders over ANY other nation on the planet. It will be my civic duty to make sure that the new President doesn't wander into areas I consider unhealthy for the nation (second amendment issues, income redistribution, abandoning free trade, national defense, etc.). At the same time, the new president will have to perform.
We don't live in an era of blind trust anymore. The watershed collapse of that began in the 1960s and has continued through the ultra-transparent years of the internet ascendancy. Individuals who wish to blindly blame the current administration for the financial problems reveal themselves immediately and either uninformed or ideologues. What we have seen is that a 14 trillion dollar economy requires careful handling and something as innocuous as extending the envelope of risk acceptance for capital investment (i.e. dicey mortgages) can precipitate a global catastrophe.
That is a change we certainly could have done without.