obamanomics needs a one-liner: excellent nytimes article on obama’s economics views
There’s an excellent (once-a-month excellent, if I can say that) article that appeared on the nyt website yesterday on Barack Obama’s economics philosophy, and ideas for what we need to do to fix the state we’re in. If you have time (it’s 8 pages, but worth it), it explains a lot about the politics of economics over the last few presidents, and is very clearly written and applicable right now.
Here’s an excerpt that sums up the gist of Obama’s views. This came in response to a question, after an hour of economics discussion with the journalist, as to whether or not Obama “had a message that compared with Reagan’s simple call for less government and lower taxes.” Obama’s reply:
I think I can tell a pretty simple story. Ronald Reagan ushered in an era that reasserted the marketplace and freedom. He made people aware of the cost involved of government regulation or at least a command-and-control-style regulation regime. Bill Clinton to some extent continued that pattern, although he may have smoothed out the edges of it. And George Bush took Ronald Reagan’s insight and ran it over a cliff. And so I think the simple way of telling the story is that when Bill Clinton said the era of big government is over, he wasn’t arguing for an era of no government. So what we need to bring about is the end of the era of unresponsive and inefficient government and short-term thinking in government, so that the government is laying the groundwork, the framework, the foundation for the market to operate effectively and for every single individual to be able to be connected with that market and to succeed in that market. And it’s now a global marketplace.
Now, that’s the story. Now, telling it elegantly — ‘low taxes, smaller government’ — the way the Republicans have, I think is more of a challenge.
Read the article if you want more. I solidly agree with the bulk of Obama’s general economics positions, at least most discussed in this article, and also that we all need come up with a pretty package for it. If you come up with something great, let me know. If you disagree, keep quiet let me know.