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07/09/2012

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Mogden

With the government doing absolutely everything possible to kick the can down the road, guaranteeing a detonation of amazing proportions at some point in the future, who can be confident in anything?

Terry Bennett

Uncertainty is a psychological state. As such, it can be real even if it is not objectively reasonable, although in this case it happens to be.

President Obama, the most visible member of the U.S. government, exhibits a uniformly negative attitude toward business, which is a world alien to him. I have never heard him say one nice thing about business. Every time he opens his mouth, he criticizes business. He similarly criticizes wealthy people at every turn, often inaccurately conflating the two.

Business people in this time thus do not know what to expect from government, but what we do know is that we cannot count on him to consider our interests. He is entirely capable, whether out of disdain or mere ignorance, of taking actions that will really hurt us. Obamacare is a prime example. I am amazed at the broad silence to date on the likely difficulties this new law is going to cause for businesses when it takes full effect.

Whatever the rest of the calculus, business people can properly have confidence that a President Romney, before taking any action, is at least going to stop and think how that action will affect business, because he has spent time making a living and he knows what it takes to do it successfully. We can have no such confidence under the current regime, and as much as the business community would like to return to a time of growth and profitability, I don't expect anything different economically before 2017 if the President is re-elected.

Sanjeev Sabhlok

Gary, your second point (policy uncertainty) is mystifying. I expect you to do better than this, not take someone's vague "calculation" on this issue.

The key problem is the rapid advance of Keynesian ideas, and the welfare state. That is necessarily bound to distort incentives. If you read Aurthur Brooks's The Road to Freedom you will recognise what is happening: Obama is destroying the MORAL FIBFRE of America. That's the policy problem in USA today.

Despite professional training as an economist (and I've followed in your footsteps in my analysis of populations), I've learnt to take 90 per cent of the mumbo jumbo created by economists with a great pinch of salt. Let's always ask fundamental and BASIC questions.

I'd appreciate if you can elaborate the philosophy and theory of "policy uncertainty". Let's call Keynesianism and social democracy just that: a destruction of freedom, which blocks entrepreneurship.

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Business people in this time thus do not know what to expect from government, but what we do know is that we cannot count on him to consider our interests. He is entirely capable, whether out of disdain or mere ignorance, of taking actions that will really hurt us. Obamacare is a prime example. I am amazed at the broad silence to date on the likely difficulties this new law is going to cause for businesses when it takes full effect.

B D Udoff

Doesn't this "worst recovery since WW II" come of the heels of the worst financial crisis since WW II ?

TANSTAAFL

Becker correctly identifies policy uncertainty as a cause of our lingering economic downturn. Exhibit A: a Congress that in recent years lacks the will to produce an annual budget resolution. As others above note, another source of policy uncertainty is President Obama's unrelenting disdain for the private sector, manifested as arbitrary and capricious actions by the White House and executive agencies (Keystone pipeline blocked, slow walking of Gulf drilling permits, NLRB attempt to block Boeing plant in South Carolina, various anti-business EPA/SEC/FCC rules struck down by the courts, etc.).

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What the hell is this, i don't believe this.

st

both profs over estimated Gov and policy effect and totally ignore the culture change of 90 and 2000. A player hires A player; B player hires C player and things are going downwards from there. in order to secure his/her own position. With school put out many B players from MBAs, eventually, the landscape changed in US. Few A players on the top nowadays: just look at the financial, wall streets, corp, etc.

What you expect to fill a position with average university students pend 13 hour a week in class room? How do you answer a student walk into your office and ask: "tell me what I need to do to get my PhD? I'll do anything you say". The industry need someone can take an initial idea, run it, innovated, expended and move the field to next level, not a follower just repeat the steps of the manager/Sr. staff. When you get a university graduate with Mom and Dad step in to negotiate salary on interview (or willing sit outside your office to escort the kid), Houston, we got big trouble.

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Becker advocates sound policy. Calls by politicians for tax breaks and other public support for manufacturing appeal to sentiment (e.g., bring back the days of Rosie the Riveter), not logic.

pan

Becker correctly identifies policy uncertainty as a cause of our lingering economic downturn. Exhibit A: a Congress that in recent years lacks the will to produce an annual budget resolution. As others above note, another source of policy uncertainty is President Obama's unrelenting disdain for the private sector, manifested as arbitrary and capricious actions by the White House and executive agencies (Keystone pipeline blocked, slow walking of Gulf drilling permits, NLRB attempt to block Boeing plant in South Carolina, various anti-business EPA/SEC/FCC rules struck down by the courts, etc.).www.diesel-generatorset.com

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brad

Rolling policy uncertainty and demand uncertainty into one category is a very disingenuous sop to Team Republican. The problem is demand uncertainty, not that Obama is insufficiently deferential to the Masters of the Universe.

I would really enjoy watching all of Freshwater Econ being exposed as partisan hacks and third-rate sophists, if you didn't have the ear of Team Republican, Ben Bernanke, and so many others in control of policy veto points. These policies are ruining lives by keeping unemployment up and aggregate demand down.

Goodness,we get it: you like laissez-faire policies independent of any evidence or logic. But do you have to be so obvious about it?

Back Taxes

It has been increadibly slow and I dont see much changing anytime soon.

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