Wednesday, March 6, 2013

- Obamanomics And The Future

What would you make the odds of the Democrat party getting someone to run for President in 2016, who is as utterly immune from criticism as President Obama? Unless they have another unvetted, ivy league trained, “clean and well spoken” black "campus radical" waiting in the wings, I’d make the odds at zero.

In my opinion it’s liberals view of race which has been the main coating of Teflon for the President, not his radical motivations or progressive policies. The press may agree with everything Obama is trying to do to the rich and his general elitist view. But the main reason the press won’t touch him is because they believe that anything they say that’s even neutral in terms of criticism will be viewed by someone somewhere as having been motivated by racism. And as we know, nothing hurts a career in journalism like the accusation of racism, whether that accusation is totally unfounded or not.

Don't mistake me, the fact that they think black people are incapable of helping themselves in a world with the same rules for everyone makes their actual opinion about racism obvious. It's not racism that they find threatening. It's the public accusation of racism that they are so afraid of.

Anyway if it's true that the next president will be less insulated from the media than this one, then if we do a little calendar math, we find we must be very close to the high (low) point of the age of Obama; and may have even already passed it. From here, the changi-ness of “hope and change” will only diminish. The last two years of any president’s second term is anything but productive for policy, and there is also a lead time to any major policy initiative. The financial market tends to discount all events 6 to 9 months even before that. So we may literally be just three to six months away from the end of Obamanomics’ effect on the global financial markets.

If you are a guy who thinks about markets the way I do, then you see Obama’s effect as being really two major things. Number one, the constant change up of regulation is causing people to be risk averse and not spend money on capital expenditures when they otherwise would. If we’re approaching the end of Obamanomics, then CapEx (which has been historically very low) should begin to creep up a bit. It won’t be a rocket ship – we may after all end up with another Democrat president for the next term too. But whoever it is, it won’t be as bad as Obama and some people should react positively to that.

And the second issue is hiring. We know for certain that people are avoiding hiring in part because it’s a risk averse stance, and in part because Obamacare is providing such huge incentives not to. The first should be mitigated slightly while the second will probably only get worse as we learn the myriad of ways that the government really has taken over our lives. But net on net, we should see hiring creep up in tiny ways too.

These things don’t happen in a bubble of course. Lots of things could upset this applecart. But all things being equal, I think this is the way to bet.

Essential to the idea of government taking over every aspect of our lives (the progressive vision) is the compliant and passive DC media. They have been totally shameless in that regard where Obama is concerned. But Obama will definitely not be president in 2017, and whoever is president will be less insulated from criticism than he is. Those things are both pretty certain. And that means that there will be less progressivism, and less top down government rule from Washington - which can only be good for the nation.

The free markets are a means of communicating 'reality' to corporate decision makers. The more free the market, the better the communication. The progressive view of markets is that they must be 'controlled' and subordinated to politics. In other words the goal of progressive economics is to break the market's transmission mechanism, and to destroy the natural yin and yang of the business cycle. This has certainly been the case for the last 5 years, but reality can't be suspended forever.

The world will still have problems of course, and there will still be many many things on a destructive long term trajectory. But if the elites in Washington are forced to stop rewriting the rules by a news media that finally awakens from it's long slumber, that can only be a positive thing. And the media really does have nowhere to go but up on that score.

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