Friday, August 7, 2009

Does Obama read The Economist?

I hope so. If he doesn't, we can always pray that his advisors will alert him to a recent edition's lead article:

"Piling on: In his zeal to fix capitalism, Barack Obama must not stifle America’s dynamism."

This is a must read. It summarizes what should be our collective fear that the "temporary" fiscal package for stimulating the private economy is permanent, not temporary, and will stimulate politicians and bureaucrats, not entrepreneurs and innovators. (Outsourcing the legislative package to Nancy Pelosi certainly didn't help matters, as the article points out).

A few excerpts:

America has experienced a failure of finance, not of capitalism... Even in boom times, 15% of American jobs disappear each year. Their places are taken by new ones created by start-ups and expansions... Americans are adept at finding opportunity in adversity...

Yet Mr Obama — and, even more, his Democratic allies in Congress — could do lasting damage to this marvellous [economic] machine. [Outsourcing rule-writing is risky because] Congress is much more likely than the executive branch to let special interests or demagoguery shape the outcome...

America’s free-market capitalism has always been a model for the rest of the world. By all means fix its flaws, Mr Obama; but do not take its dynamism for granted.

Future entrepreneurs and innovators would grow the economy (i.e., create real jobs) faster if given sufficient incentives, but I'm afraid Mr. Obama doesn't know much about them, let alone what motivates them.

That's the reading I'm getting so far, anyway. A long conversation at the White House with someone who does understand the growth engine, such as recent Nobel winner Edmund Phelps, might help cover that blind spot, but that's just wishful thinking on my part.

Anyway, be sure to read the article in The Economist. Here's the link again.

And here's the guy who pointed me to this article:

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