"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

Friday, August 9, 2013

Meanwhile, Back In the Real World

While President Obama takes yet another golf vacation, it's worth revisiting where we stand now with the economy.   Remember the economy?   Remember how the stimulus was supposed to fix it?   That was back in 2009.  

So, how is Obama doing?

Not so good:

Now, to be fair, is Obama responsible for all of the stagnation of the American economy over the past five years?   No... there is some very hard deleveraging going on in businesses and households, coupled with a painful weeding out of unproductive workers and industries.   Many jobs simply aren't coming back.  

But Obama's policies, as the apotheosis of a century of liberalism and the growth of the bureaucratic state, have certainly exacerbated the slowness of the recovery, and will limit the possibility for the kind of explosive growth the economy really needs.   Think of the effects of just the following policies on creating and growing small businesses, the engine of American employment growth:

  • Increasing the minimum wage.
  • Increasing the cost of energy by limiting the ability of American companies to explore and drill for petroleum, including the idiotic rejection of the Keystone pipeline, drilling in ANWR, offshore drilling, fracking, etc., all of which is exacerbated by the idiotic subsidies poured into "green energy" technologies that don't and won't work.
  • Increasing taxes on the "wealthy," many of whom are small business owners whose companies are flow-through entities that pay the individual income tax rate.
  • Larding more and more regulation on companies, particularly environmental regulations that hamstring American manufacturing and, for some industries have simply driven them south of the border or overseas to China.
  • Obamacare and its mandates.
Couple all of this bad economic policy with a constant drumbeat of anti-business propaganda from the media, and it's no wonder that the best and the brightest of our young people seem to be gravitating more and more toward rent-seeking as professions (law, government, academia, non-profits, media) and less and less toward starting and owning businesses.

But, not to worry, everything's under control on Martha's Vineyard.

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