Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stupid thoughts on the Economy

So there's this new poll claiming that voters are now more concerned with "the economy" than they are with Iraq. Bill Schneider reports on this development, quoting Ms. Clinton -

"I'd describe the economy as kind of a trap door where you're one medical diagnosis or a pink slip or a missed mortgage payment away from dropping through and losing everything"

Hmm, Ms. Clinton, is this the same economy that is experiencing such growth that it makes you so confident Social Security will be solvent indefinitely without any significant reform?

It just makes me wonder what people mean when they say they are worried most about "the economy."
Of course, in most polls "the economy" is just one item among another limited predefined selection of issues, where things like nuclear proliferation or genocide don't even show up.

The economy is an important issue - very important. But what do voters expect from a President? Politicians can do very little about the periodic waxes and waning of the market, or about this month's high gas prices. Where government does have an influence is in the long term. And so the importance of this issue shouldn't really go away. We need to start thinking less about what a President can do to lower the price of yellow bananas, and more about what a President can do to cut the deficit, to encourage long term growth, to build healthy trade relationships, and to develop sustainable policies with regard to energy and natural resources.

In short, we need a President whose economic contribution will be felt not in the next election cycle, but in the next generation.

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