Posts Tagged ‘the economy’

Auto Bailout Fails; Where Do We Go From Here?

December 12, 2008

America has entered treacherous waters with the failure of the auto industry bailout deal in the Senate last night. Think about how far we’ve sunk since September. Back then, we were experiencing a credit crunch, the effects of which were felt by only a small number of Americans at the time. Since then the $700 billion Treasury rescue plan seems to not have made much of a difference — although it is likely the situation would be worse if that legislation wasn’t passed. Also, since the crisis started the plight of ordinary people has gotten worse. New claims for unemployment are at the highest point in 26 years. That 1982 recession was ferocious, particularly in the industrial Midwest, and most experts say we’re in for 6 months or more of this.

In other recessions, such as the Bush Recession in 1992, observers failed to recognize things getting better early enough. I don’t get the sense that’s happening now.

President-Elect Obama’s opportunity is that he will take office at a real low point, from which things can only get better. Much of economic behavior involves psychology. If Obama the Orator can make Americans feel better, maybe things we’ll improve. So we can hope.

Second Thoughts on Sarah Palin?

September 24, 2008

Now almost a month after John McCain selected Sara Palin as his running mate, does it still seem like such a great idea? The latest polls show Barack Obama ahead of McCain by 9 percentage points, and the difference, no surprise, is the economy.

“More voters trust Obama to deal with the economy, and he currently has a big edge as the candidate who is more in tune with the economic problems Americans now face. He also has a double-digit advantage on handling the current problems on Wall Street, and as a result, there has been a rise in his overall support. The poll found that, among likely voters, Obama now leads McCain by 52 percent to 43 percent. Two weeks ago, in the days immediately following the Republican National Convention, the race was essentially even, with McCain at 49 percent and Obama at 47 percent.”

Even with the tremendous show of support that Republican activists demonstrated for Palin, the unravelling economy has exposed McCain on his weakest issue. Neither McCain nor Obama has been particularly strong in recent days — being forced to the sidelines by unexpected events. But Obama has the benefit of being from the opposition party. By definition, he represents a change in approach; McCain, more of the same.

Given those conditions, I stand by my earlier argument that Mitt Romney would have been the best running mate for McCain. Furthermore, I’ve heard the same thing — unsolicited — from committed Obama supporters.