"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"Hunkering Down"

I talked with a client this week who runs investments for a private investor (read: really rich guy) and he said that they are "hunkering down" until after 2012.   Funny that:  I've heard the phrase "hunkering down" a lot lately, usually from businessmen-types or investors who have skin in the game.

Now comes Victor Davis Hanson, who has noticed the same thing when he talks to businessmen around the country:
Here is the lament I heard: the near $5 trillion in borrowing in just three years, the radical growth in the size of the federal government and its regulatory zeal, ObamaCare, the Boeing plant closure threat, the green jobs sweet-heart deals and Van Jones-like “Millions of Green Jobs” nonsense, the vast expansion in food stamps and unemployment pay-outs, the reversal of the Chrysler creditors, politically driven interference in the car industry, the failed efforts to get card check and cap and trade, the moratoria on new drilling in the Gulf, the general antipathy to new fossil fuel exploitation coupled with new finds of vast new reserves, the new financial regulations, an aggressive EPA oblivious to the effects of its advocacy on jobs, the threatened close-down of energy plants, the support for idling thousands of acres of irrigated farmland due to environmental regulations, the constant talk of higher taxes, the needlessly provocative rhetoric of “fat cat”, “millionaires and billionaires,” “corporate jet owners,” etc. juxtaposed, in hypocritical fashion, to Martha’s Vineyard, Costa del Sol, and Vail First Family getaways — all of these isolated strains finally are becoming a harrowing opera to business people.
Despite enormous opportunity for many cash-rich firms to take advantage of the down cycles (low interest, plentiful potential employees, discounted prices, etc.), they are taking a pass, almost as if to collectively sigh, “This bunch doesn’t like me much and I’m going to hunker down, hoard my cash, and sit out the next year and a half until they are gone.”
There's that phrase again:  "hunkering down."

Forget about polls and projections and all the political consultant mumbo jumbo.   The people who make the American economy work are already voting, and they have come to the conclusion that Obama has been a disaster for business, and will continue to be a disaster for business until we get rid of him in 2012.   The last thing on earth they want to hear is another "soaring" speech from President Just Words.   The next political speech they'll tune in for is the Inaugural Address of somebody else, anybody else.

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