The View From 1776

Obama’s Prolonged Recession

Since the beginning of the 20th century, only two recessions in this country have endured more than two years: the Herbert Hoover /  Franklin Roosevelt New Deal (twelve years) and Barack Obama’s (four years).  In both cases, the most important negative factor was, and is, the anti-business, pro-socialism character of the Democrat/Socialist Party regime in power.

Regime Uncertainty: Some Clarifications, by Robert Higgs

President Obama has relentlessly attacked business and businessmen who have become wealthy under our relatively free capitalist economic system.  The thrust of his entire administration has been, and remains, to foment class warfare and divide the nation.  Little wonder that businessmen, according to today’s Wall Street Journal, have significantly cut their proposed investments to expand production in the United States during 2013.

A partial list of actions that befog the outlook for business includes threats to bankrupt the coal industry in the name of hare-brained environmentalism; denouncing businessmen and bankers as greedy malefactors; announcing a predisposition to redistribute wealth in accord with basic socialistic principle; proposed or implemented EPA regulations that threatened the dairy business, stopped offshore drilling for oil and gas, as well as fracking production of our most bountiful, most efficient, and cheapest supply of energy; opposition to the pipeline from Canada; threats to punish companies that seek to remain competitive on world markets by transferring parts of their businesses overseas; renewed efforts to give labor unions greater power to unionize and bankrupt non-government employers; NLRB’s efforts to stop Boeing’s production of jets outside the heavily unionized, strike-prone Pacific northwest; nationalizing the U.S. company portion of the auto industry and dictating which plants could be closed, while giving to labor unions what bondholders were legally entitled to receive; EPA regulations designed to force auto companies to divert scarce capital to producing electric cars that fewer than 10% of Americans want; Obamacare’s driving doctors out of their practices and forcing hospital consolidations to meet the ferocious costs of implementing new information systems; threatened punitive actions for fictive racial discrimination against banks that are now endeavoring to adhere to sound lending practices. 

EPA regulations on manufacturing alone (so far, 972 new ones under Obama) have added an estimated $117 billion to manufacturing costs, thereby reducing businesses’ incentives to expand and increase employment.