“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as ‘bad luck.’”
– Robert Heinlein
Today in Iowa, Barack Obama proved once and for all that he does not understand how the economy works:
At a town hall meeting on his campaign-style tour of the Midwest, President Obama claimed that his economic program "reversed the recession" until recovery was frustrated by events overseas. And then, Obama said, with the economy in an increasingly precarious position, the recovery suffered another blow when Republicans pressed the White House for federal spending cuts in exchange for an increase in the national debt limit, resulting in a deal Obama called a "debacle."
"We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again," Obama told a crowd in Decorah, Iowa. "But over the last six months we've had a run of bad luck." Obama listed three events overseas -- the Arab Spring uprisings, the tsunami in Japan, and the European debt crises -- which set the economy back.
In the first place, perhaps I have been living in the wrong one of John Edwards' Two Americas, but I don't really remember how everything was just fine in the American economy before the the tsunami hit Japan. That really seems like the sort of thing I would have noticed but maybe I just had my head in the sand - I am sure the American people will remember it next November, though. Second, I am a little puzzled as to how the debt ceiling compromised - which was passed two weeks ago - caused the recession to persist for the better part of the last three years. It's even more puzzling than Katrina vandenHeuvel's assertion that the August debt compromise caused a bad jobs report for July.
All of that aside, does Obama really think "bad luck" is the reason the economy is the way it is? If he really doesn't have a better explanation then he ought to do the country a favor and step aside in favor of someone who actually understands that jobs are created by hard working, intelligent and/or creative people that he has spent the last 4 years demonizing and punishing at every opportunity. Their ability to create jobs is hampered by pointless regulation and their ability to obtain capital to continue functioning is hampered by the uncertainty that is created by leadership that is rudderless and/or openly hostile to wealth creation. When businesses don't know if their plans will be hampered by arbitrary regulation or their profits confiscated, they don't grow and jobs don't get created.
That isn't "bad luck," it's bad policy. And the country can't take any more of it.