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Can President Obama save this economy (question mark)

By AV . ·
Tags: Off Topic
I watched President Obama's job speech and thought there were some good things in there. I like continuing the lower payroll tax rate and hiring incentives for Veterans and the long-term unemployed. The infrastucture improvements are always needed, but thats only temporary work. Just like the last government stimulous programs.

What I thought was different is that Obama briefly touched on what companies used to do in America. I've worked for over 40 years and in the past, companies used to invest in their employees. They don't do that anymore. Everyone is now replaceable, expendable, however you want to say it, people don't matter. A company today has global resources, so who cares about you.

Whats wrong with that philosophy is that it doesn't inspire greatness in anyone. It doesn't inspire innovation, something America has always been known for. Our government needs to support companies that will bring that philosophy back.

I remember back in the early 70's when people retired from their jobs. They had pensions and many other benefits that are unheard of today. Today, thats all gone, but that partnership between employee and employer is what inspired innovation in this country. People had something to work for, something to aspire to and it was compelling, to the point where they would strive to be the best they could be.


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How long have they been not doing that? (Was that even english? ;p)

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Can President Obama save ...

I mean, creating a feeling of community in the employees is right up there with checking regularly if the product is on par with the industry...
Sure, some companies with large throughput can do okay without investing in employees (burger-flippers aren't so hard to find, and near-adequate cashiers and shelvers, close behind).
But if you're making something, you should see to it that the people actually doing the making think they're part of the company, and not just stapled to the surface of it.

As for your question, sure he can. So can a republican (one that thinks).
It's not that hard, really, if one can rally the people and silence the partizans of both sides (long walk off short pier is best method for that - they can come back when the hard work is done).

Gotta look hard at what's wrong with the economy though.
Knee-jerk spending incentives aren't always the way to go (ok, in this situation it may be, but know who to knee). For instance in Denmark in the 80s the Conservatives had to do the opposite, they actually put huge tariffs on construction work and certain other import-heavy industries, because the trade balance was all out of whack. Then construction ground to a screeching halt, imports petered out, and people started saving up instead of loaning. Only took five years to get things back in order - the trick was that they did it before it was incredibly necessary.
The foresight meant that some speculator, I think it was Soros , fell on his *** - netting the state a nice income in currency defense profits.

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No single president can 'save' the economy.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Can President Obama save ...

The US economy is too large and has too much inertia for a single administration to turn around, at least not in one term. It's also dependent on global markets that US chief executives have no control over.

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A short term rescue is difficult, and saving in the long term is tougher

by DelbertPGH In reply to Can President Obama save ...

I pretty much line up with Paul Krugman on this. The people are scared and aren't spending; companies are sitting on their cash and waiting for the people to start spending before they will invest and create new jobs. The vicious cycle won't end when we "hit bottom" (in the way other supply/demand-driven recessions ended) because a third of the country has mortgages that exceed the market value of their homes, not to mention credit card debt, and that will keep people hiding their wallets until those 30-year loans get paid down or valuations rise. In an economy that is 70% consumer spending, where neither producers nor consumers feel confident enough to restart economic growth, something else has to reach in and put some heat under the pot. The only agency left is government. Unless government provides the spark, this economy will plod along with slow growth for 15 years until household balance sheets are paid down. We will live at the bottom until the debt clears. That's a lot of wasted potential, growth that didn't happen, income taxes that won't get paid, kids who will never earn their full potential because they had to do marginal work in the years when successful people are getting ahead in their lives. It's a tragedy, and if it isn't fixed fast it will have effects that linger on for two generations.

It's cheap to borrow money right now, if you're the federal government. 10-year bonds are yielding only 2.0%. It makes debt-financed spending easier. We've got way too much debt already, but if the recession isn't cured, we will borrow more anyway. So, we'd better borrow now, fix the economy, and fix our deficit spending habits when we're back to relative prosperity.

Things like bridge repair, highway construction, sewer and water renovations are all good job opportunities. They create work in the construction industry and actually leave us with something valuable, because the money spent represents an investment in infrastructure. I don't know if we can spend enough money in this field to haul the economy back out of its hole.

What we have to keep in mind is that recessions are a negative feedback cycle, and tend to make things worse; whereas growth is a positive feedback cycle. Good growth makes problems go away, including problems of government spending and deficicits, because people with jobs pay taxes, and people with money become customers for big things and not just welfare recipients shopping at Dollar General.

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Confidence versus real change

by JamesRL In reply to A short term rescue is di ...

Government stimulus spending is more of a confidence measure than an engine of growth. You employee a number of people, not necessarily permanently, but you stop the unemployment numbers from sliding farther. Whether a new highway actually stimulates long term growth is situationally dependant. But if the government does absolutely nothing, moods in the analysts offices become dark, and forecasts get scary, and that inhibits the private company and individual investments that do drive long term growth.

If the government spends $100 million on a new bridge, it may or may not help the local economy near the bridge. It is a long term investment. In many cases we have infrastructure that is crumbling and that can cost dollars (google Montreal and bridge) when the existing infrastructure breaks and will take years to repair.

But if a private company spends $100 million on new machinery that will make them more cost competitive, that could keep on showing "dividends" for a long long time.

I've always said, you can't fix a problem thats been decades in the making in one term.You can set a general direction, and get things moving, but it will take a consistent effort by a number of successive presidents to set things right. And it is easier to fix things when the economy is booming.

I've often said, even in the Bush era, that President's don't have the levers to "fix" the economy and while they can do some things to inspire confidence and address the consumer mindset, they can't snap their fingers and create permanent jobs in the private sector.

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The short term jobs created will generate some movement in other sections.

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Confidence versus real ch ...

i know it's not necessarily a lot, but there will be some spending increases from the people engaged in the infrastructure work.
It may sound pretty futile to say "hopefully it will work in concert with the confidence boost to get the ball rolling" - but if there really aren't any more levers to pull, well... no alternatives, eh?

I guess something could be done to entice corporate spending and to make nonspending undesireable, but maybe it would be better to try and engage business leaders directly to make a "National plan for growth" or something, a nationwide program to systematically create jobs and make investments.
Provided that business leaders are at all interested in getting out of the recession.

If they're saying "we're not spending because those others aren't spending" then maybe it's time to be saying "on the count of three, we all spend: 1... 2,.. 3... GO!"

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Government stimulous just kept us afloat

by AV . In reply to Confidence versus real ch ...

It did boost confidence somewhat, but the debt ceiling debate debacle ruined that and now we're back to doom and gloom. Zero confidence to be had anywhere.

Our Congress dealt this country a serious **** and it didn't have to be that way. I do notice that the Republican's had a more compromising and muted tone in response to Obama's speech. As it should be. The vitriol over the debt ceiling from the Tea Party Republicans was absolutely toxic. What a spectacle.

No, the President can't create jobs in the private sector, but Obama's plan to continue the payroll tax cut is very beneficial to employers and employees. There are some good things in what he is proposing. It won't create permanent jobs, but it will keep us afloat until confidence in the economy returns again. We need to get rid of FUD.

You're right. If a private company bought new machinery to retool as opposed to making repairs, it might be a wiser way to invest those dollars. But right now in the US, there are a lot of unemployed construction workers that need work - even if its only temporary, so thats a good thing.


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In a way construction workers are always on temporary jobs.

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Government stimulous just ...

That's not something to overlook. For them it doesn't really matter if this job is from this source or that... no construction job lasts forever.
Either they have one, or they don't. Right now, and for a long time, they don't.
That affects a lot of people.

Maybe if the government slashed all corporate deductions, replacing them with just deductions for domestic payroll... that'd make some companies hire people just to pay less taxes, or at least offset the risks in hiring.

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Well AV you can always trust a Polly to

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Government stimulous just ...

Stuff things up completely.

In your case listed the Publicans don't really give a Rats_A$$ what damage they do as long as they don't have the president in their Party they can Play Politics and destroy everything that they don't like even a little. When they see something that they dislike they just act the fools and try to pass the blame onto the other. In that case it's all the Presidents Fault as he's in-charge and the Senate/Congress can not do anything to make him change his mind well in their minds at least,

The Tea Party Wackos are another story and a perfect example of how a Popularly Elected/Wanted idea can be completely the wrong thing to do. Remember that Hitler was the Will of the People of Germany no not really but he said the right things to get elected and then he stuffed up everything. He also expounded Radical Ideas like We are better than those and I know all the answers, or Ideally if we can get rid of Insert whoever here things will be better.

But in this case the ideas expounded by the Tea Party are a perfect Example of what a lot of people seem to think they want is completely the wrong thing to do and another example of the Corruption of Democracy.

Here the problem isn't that the Ideas are so wrong but those people expounding them are not doing it for the Benefit of the Country but for their Own Political Gain and to hell with everything. When that happens the country fails as a direct result of these peoples stupidity.


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The problem really is the market for certain values of "free".

by seanferd In reply to Can President Obama save ...

No president can fix it, possibly provide some amelioration, or make things worse. I mean, Sarbanes-Oxley, for example, was a sham right out of the gate. As usual, the regulation is co-opted by the supposedly regulated, designed or changed to guarantee rather than restrict, the wrong bits are the object of the regulation, all the while one interest or another, with attendant fans and lackeys, decries the regulation as a burden too great or as "un-American".

As to whether Obama can pass the measures he seeks, we'll have to see how much opposition there is, whether reasoned or "just because", the latter of which seems to be the more general operating procedure. He seems to want to cut taxes <i>in the right places</i> to actually have an effect on an economy.

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