Monday, March 19, 2012


An attention-grabbing article is in the March 26th The New Yorker: "Replay; As he faced an ailing economy, what could Obama have done differently?" by John Cassidy. Actually it is an book review of "The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery" by Noam Scheiber, a review that somewhat undermines the subtitle of the book, as Cassidy's opening sentence sets the stage for the entire article: "In Presidential politics, timing is everything" -- reminding me of an entry I wrote a couple of months ago.

I've cobbled together a couple of quotes from that entry, and strung them together, making a similar point about timing: "The Republicans say that by now Obama 'owns' the economy, as if a switch was thrown when he was inaugurated and a dial was set for about three years, the onset of the next Presidential election cycle.....[But] when it comes to the economy I can neither give Obama credit nor condemnation.....Capitalism is a story of inherent cycles."

One thing is for sure: we averted economic catastrophe during the Obama administration, but could have things have been handled more perfectly, perhaps so. He certainly could have managed expectations better and favored housing issues over health care at the onset of his Presidency. But he had no direct control over some of the issues that are the consequence of economic cycles, just as he has no direct control over the price of gas where geopolitical issues dominate. But we've heard Republican cries of "vote for me for $2.50 gas" Why not $1.99 or for that matter $0.99?....