It’s awful tough to make a generalization on the mood of an entire nation, especially one as diverse as the US. However, there are enough clues out there with a common thread that tell me there is one dominant theme that is an election winner. The candidate that grabs that theme and speaks coherently about it will win.
It’s economics. It’s not JOBS JOBS JOBS. But it is a prescription on how we will get out of this no growth high debt mess.
Americans have gotten a tremendous economic education lesson over the last four years. They have witnessed and experienced first hand what different economic paradigms do to daily life. When the facts are stacked up, it’s clear that some things work, and some things ought to be relegated to the economic dumpster behind policy makers buildings. Here are just a few economic lessons we have learned. Add your own in the comments.
We had a financial collapse from too much leverage. The government was the backstop of that leverage via Fannie, Freddie, FHA, and all kinds of other programs.
Lesson: If you keep the government out of finance, banks can’t build up artificial leverage to take extreme risk that will bankrupt a country.
We had regulations on the books that supposedly would stop corporate fraud. Sarbanes-Oxley was passed after Enron, Dodd-Frank passed after the 2008 debacle.
Lesson: Even with regulations on the books Jon Corzine and MF Global managed to steal $1.2 Billion from their own customers. Excessive regulation doesn’t prevent bad things from happening. Better to structure private markets in the correct way to do your regulating for you.
The government passed the most massive government spending package in history with the March 2009 stimulus. This was supposed to jumpstart the economy.
Lesson: The multiplier effect of government spending is 0. We have had almost zero economic growth for Obama’s entire term, with high unemployment. More people are on food stamps, unemployment benefits, and other government assistance than any time in American history. It only proves that if the government is going to give out free money, there will be plenty of hands out and minds working on how to get a piece of it.
The government promoted green energy by spending money on several solar power firms, ethanol firms, ethanol subsidies. Most of those firms were later found to be large donors to the Obama campaign.