FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The Scalpel of Damocles Hangs Above Us All…
People who have never faced an unpleasant unraveling walk around with a notion that danger would be exotic, fun and adventurous. You get to be Bilbo Baggins, and beat out Gollum at a game of riddles. The end of the world will unspool like those awesome Indiana Jones movies and everyone should get their popcorn and gun collections ready. This isn’t how it works. Bad history becomes tedious, painful, depressing and confusing instead.
Such is very much the case with the current Healthcare Debacle which, as Peggy Noonan has astutely pointed out, “he’s (President Obama) been promising for a year will be passed next week.” While we spent that year waiting for next week, we spent that year essentially paralyzed. The economy, the banks, the business leaders all held up on all but the most essential activities until The Scalpel of Damocles has either been withdrawn or has made its grievous cut. No knew risks were taken, no risky investments in high-tech start-ups got made. The animal spirits of Keynesian fame have all been taken to the pet shelter until we know what the rules will be next week.
Even absent passage, the current Healthcare Enigma has exacted a terrible toll on the US economy. As David “Spengler” Goldman shows, the lending of venture capital has become extremely selective and restrictive. In 2009, $17.5Bn were leant. This compares to $28Bn in 2008 and $30Bn in 2007. People don’t lend when they don’t know the rules. Spengler unleashes his trademark pessimism.
Pardon my gloom, but it’s not clear to me where an employment recovery will come from–at least in the United States. All the indicators we have show that employment is scraping along the bottom. With 20% of the United States working-age population un- or underemployed, according to the Gallup Poll’s massive survey of 20,000 households, and establishments running at bare-bones level, it would be hard to envision significant declines in payroll employment from already miserable levels. But the sort of things that generate jobs–venture capital investments, small business expansion, and so forth–are as dead as the Monty Python parrot.
Pardon me while I counter the Wagnerian Doomsing. American small business is aestivating, not dead. People don’t shovel billions into new projects in an uncertain environment. Financial investors like making decisions in environments where the signal can be easily tuned in from the noise. Like an engineer designing an experiment, they go big into variance reduction.
Thus, the current ambitious legislative agenda to completely change America becomes a bigger and bigger drag on our nation. The longer we stand on the precipice of epoch-making social change, the longer the big shots and big, swinging wiffle-bats of global finance will stay their hand before investing in American small capital stocks and bonds. Our economic future, like the governments of Australia and Indonesia, has been put on hold by President Barack Obama’s healthcare delusions.
Getting rid of Obamacare gets rid off this uncertainty overhang. People beat Americans at lots of different things. Other nations have more history, more culture, better cuisine, and better educational systems. Nobody beats America at inventiveness and reinvention. When the uncertainty goes away, the US economy will roar back like an emaciated Tarbosaur ready to gorge on steaming, red meat. Nobody can stop our entrepreneurial genius except for our own retarded government.
So, as we wind down the hours and fight for six more “Nays” athwart DespotCare in the House, this is what we have to bring to bear. As soon as the world feels it may trust our government, they will feel like they can make a killing by investing in the United States. When the investment rolls back in like the tides, the jobs will sweep ashore in synonymy.
So a vote against the healthcare reform chimera is a vote against fear. It is a vote to end the torturous torpor of not knowing whether or not the Louisiana Purchase, the Public Option or God knows what will distort the capital markets sometime next week, or the week after that, or the week after that, or…
Killing this bill kills the attendant uncertainty, and ends the stupid games. It restores the equipoise of reliable rule of law and brings peace to the land. The return of calmer times will lead to the return of happier and wealthier times. It’s simple. The romantic excitement of change soon leads to the traumatic and paralyzing fear of the unknown. Nobody invests in a climate of fear and the economy hides underground. The death of Obamacare will help power the reawakening of America’s entrepreneurial risk-taking.
X-Posted At: THE MINORITY REPORT