While the Obama administration had predicted that, with $850 billion in stimulus spending, unemployment would not exceed 8%, we find ourselves stuck between 9.5 and 10% unemployment for the last 9 months. Why is this, and why hasn’t our government and all their spending helped?
Well, I’m not an economist and there are multiple explanations for this, some of which are surely out of the control of our government officials. However, I believe that most likely the largest factor in lingering high unemployment is the view of President Obama of business. If you hate business, if you believe that all of us business professionals are crooks and succeeding on the backs of the less fortunate, and that profit is somehow evil and ill-gotten, this is going to effect policy and the psychology of the American people and their willingness to invest and spend.
As Ken Langone (founder of Home Depot) so clearly stated in a must-read editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal, “For more than two years the country has listened to your sharp rhetoric about how American businesses are short-changing workers, fleecing customers, cheating borrowers, and generally ‘driving the economy into a ditch'”.
The first lady even encouraged college students NOT to go into business and the private sector, but instead to go into the “helping people business”. Can you imagine that, with 10% unemployment, this is the message of the First Lady? The American economy floating on the back of a bunch of people who produce nothing and simply go around helping people? (Of course I support helping people, and I support and respect those who choose professions that do such things. But the day that a majority of people start doing this as a career rather than as an extra-curricular part of their lives is the day America is finished).
The President has excoriated the following people, professions, and industries: Wall Street, banks, insurance companies, health insurance companies, “greedy” investors in Chrysler, oil companies, mining companies, fast food restaurants, and more. Add them up and they likely employ 125 million Americans. If we could just get rid of these unethical entities!
And I see many people actually agreeing with the President, not doing their own thinking. As if “business” is “bad”. As if having a quarterly profit is a sign of greed, like if only everyone was making just enough money to fund their next quarter’s operations that would be good.
We are seeing an unprecedented war between an administration and the private sector in America. Nothing illustrates this more than the battle between our President and the US Chamber of Commerce. Yes, you read that right, our President, at a time of 9.7% unemployment, has chosen as a campaign strategy to go to war with the US Chamber of Commerce. Put aside that he is doing it with false statements about foreign donations being used to support Republicans (an outright lie, one he knows he is telling every time he says it). Put that aside and just think about the twisted irony of 9.7% unemployment and fighting one of the key organizations promoting business and employment growth in America!
I know I take a more radical view of President Obama than most. I understand that many people whose opinion I respect think the President is more moderate than he sometimes appears. For me, I’m more convinced than ever that we have a President who dislikes many of the best and most important things about our country, whose wife meant it when she said she had never been proud of America, who likely agreed with much of what Reverend Wright said in his sermons which he listened to for over 20 years. I would truly love for him to prove me wrong over the next 2 years, but so far almost everything I’ve seen has been consistent with my opinions expressed above.
Here is a link to the Wall Street Journal Editorial: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704361504575552080488297188.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop