How Obama Creates Uncertainty and Paralyzes Growth

Obama should ask himself: "Would I start or expand a business without knowing what regulations or taxes government will impose next year?"

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The solution? Taylor finds it in the writing of Nobel laureate F.A. Hayek: the rule of law. "Stripped of all technicalities," Hayek wrote in "The Road to Serfdom," "this means that government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand -- rules which make it possible to foresee with fair certainty how the authority will use its coercive powers in given circumstances and to plan one's individual affairs on the basis of this knowledge."

If we are ever to get out of this hole the politicians have dug, we must disabuse them of the conceit that they improve our lives by spending more, guaranteeing investments or "jump-starting" industries.

Only when politicians butt out, leaving us with simple, predictable rules, can the economy grow for us all.

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  • Ike||

    President Obama would not be able to ask himself Mr. Stossel's question. Why? Because he has no idea what it takes to start, expand, organize, manage and operate a business. None; zero; zilch; zip; nada. How do we know that? He's never done anything which required such activities. All of his 'employment' has been on the boards of 'foundations' whereat he was their token representative of "Black America". What did he have to do? Politic, form alliances with others politicians, organize the mobs into tools of political advantage, tell the mobs what they wanted to hear, engage with the media and get them to sign onto whatever campaigns for public and private funding he was engaged in. That's why those things which he actually did before becoming President are the only things he has done since becoming President, except (maybe) for ordering the killing of people far away, in an effort (like all of our rececent Presidents) at self-agrandizement. And, of course, he has done them on the world stage, where all the world could see his personality flaws and the inadequacy of his intellect.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    +111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Unfortunately not eveyone can see these flaws - or the results from them - as anything but his opponents and enemies preventing his natural successes.

  • Sevo||

    Fist of Etiquette|6.7.12 @ 12:59PM|#
    "Unfortunately not eveyone can see these flaws -"

    Pretty sure quite a few of his supporters don't see this as a flaw. A lot of them see business as evil.

  • Creepy Uncle||

    President Obama would do us all a big favor if he'd ask himself this: "Would I start or expand a business without knowing what regulations or taxes government will impose next year?"

    You are assuming that this guy gives a shit about private sector growth. The Obama gangs myopic focus is on righting perceived wrongs through redistributive policies and social "rights". Behind closed doors I'm sure they acknowledge that their actions will necessarily paralyze an economy, and I'm also sure they could give a shit about that. In their minds it's only a speed bump on the highway to their collective utopian destinantion. The ends will ultimately justify the means and your personal sacrifrice and economic suffering will be a tribute to the collective. Dear Leader demands your support, do not resist.

  • Sam Grove||

    Regime uncertainty is the answer to Keynes's positing of 'animal spirits'.

  • Curt||

    I agree with Ike, but I'd take it one step further. Obama would certainly start or expand a business right now. Because instead of seeing a business as a way to make a profit, he views it as a mechanism for employing people. And if business only exists to employ people... then they definitely should expand immediately.

  • ||

    "The insufficiency of private investment from 1935 through 1940 reflected a pervasive uncertainty among investors about the security of their property rights in their capital and its prospective returns. ... The willingness of businesspeople to invest requires a sufficiently healthy state of 'business confidence,' and the Second New Deal ravaged the requisite confidence ... ."

    If there's a hell, FDR is burning in it.

    "If he'd just stop and ask that, he'd have a sense of what's wrong with the economy. He'd understand why a country that must create 120,000 new jobs each month just to absorb newcomers created only 69,000 last month."

    He's a universally ignorant, quasi-socialistic asshole, and he's also a general moron. He's literally unfit to manage a fucking hotdog stand, but somehow, in a superpower of 300,000,000 people, he was elected President, and now occupies the most powerful position in the history of the world. It's all just so damned horrific.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    No shit. I saw an interesting lecture on CSpan2 over the weekend regarding our industrial might won WWII. I can't remember the man's name, but he was an immigrant who FDR turned to to get our industry on a war footing, as we were unable to do that during WWI. This guy had FDR roll back some of his New Deal bullshit to free up industry, and convinced him that a top down approach wouldn't work. History proved him right. I think FDR should burn in hell for outlawing the private ownership of gold, though there are numerous reasons.

  • BigT||

    70,000 Japanese Americans would like to roast marshmallows over FDR's burning corpse.

  • Sevo||

    BigT|6.7.12 @ 3:56PM|#
    "70,000 Japanese Americans would like to roast marshmallows over FDR's burning corpse."
    Much as I despise FDR, several million Japanese ought to be singing his praises.

  • BigT||

    Yeah? For what exactly? Focusing on The Nazis?

  • mgd||

    I can't remember the man's name
    William Knudsen, born in Denmark. Known as "Big Bill". He was operations director or similar for Ford and upper management (president even? CEO?) for GM later.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Awesome, thanks for looking that up.

    CSpan on the weekends is worth the cost of cable.

  • Sevo||

    Res Publica Americana|6.7.12 @ 12:44PM|#
    "The insufficiency of private investment from 1935 through 1940 reflected a pervasive uncertainty among investors about the security of their property rights in their capital and its prospective returns. ... The willingness of businesspeople to invest requires a sufficiently healthy state of 'business confidence,' and the Second New Deal ravaged the requisite confidence ... ."
    Where from? I'd love to use that.

  • sarcasmic||

    In other news - the sky is blue and water is wet.

  • Tim||

    The flip side of this coin, nothing encourages unsustainanble and reckless business startups like Gubmint money. Green Energy anyone?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Obama should ask himself: "Would I start or expand a business without knowing what regulations or taxes government will impose next year?"

    And you may ask yourself:
    How do I work this?
    And you may ask yourself:
    Where is that large automobile?
    And you may tell yourself:
    This is not my beautiful house!
    And you may tell yourself:
    This is not my beautiful wife!

  • Tim||

    Into the blue again?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Same as it ever was...

  • Mainer2||

    And you may ask yourself
    What shall I get Dad for Fathers day
    And you may tell yourself
    I think I'll give him a tie.

    Same as it ever was

  • Tim||

    Once in a lifetime.

  • Big Brother||

    Same as it ever was.

  • Mainer2||

    Stop making sense.

  • Mainer2||

    Seriously, calling the problem uncertainty is too forgiving. We know for certain Obama is a leftist ideologue. His response to any issue will certainly be more government control. More regulation, more spending, higher taxes. Guaranteed. It's not uncertainty that's dampening animal spirits, it's knowing precisely who Obama is and what he'll do.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Exactly. We've seen this movie before - Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Jimmy Carter.

  • ||

    Yes, but those movies always had a happy ending.....I mean....oh wait. never mind.

  • ||

    On the other hand, do mind.
    Knowing how those turned out for the country as a whole tells us that captain zero knows full well what he is doing. The progressive left is made up of nothing but predatory, self-serving sociopaths who use big government as a means to increase their personal wealth and power at the expense of the country. They sqeeze and sqeeze believing they can always get one more drop out of us, never believing that one day they will squeeze too hard and the whole thing will come crashing down.

  • Mo' $parky||

    Only when politicians butt out, leaving us with simple, predictable rules, can the economy grow for us all.

    Not going to happen. Not ever. Never, never, ever. Not even after the sun burns out and the sky goes dark.

  • Adamsmith1776||

    One interesting metric of how deadly these thousand pages of regs a day hav been for business is how even even the lawyers are hurting--big firms have been falling like dominos. When business wants to expand, more laws mean the need for more lawyers to navigate those laws. Instead, businesses are just throwing up their hands and the more laws=more lawyers equation no longer functions. Gotta hand it to BHO on achieving something that neither FDR nor LBJ were able accomplish.

  • Tom Iarocci, MS, MD||

    Under Obama’s FDA, a cloud of uncertainty and paralysis descended on the pharmaceutical industry. It began with a slew of warning letters to a long list of companies. In hindsight, this parallels the notion of EPA enforcement a la crucifixion to make an example out of perceived offenders. Stakeholders in Pharmaceutical companies and their vendors toiled to discern the new rules for online, DTC, and even print media. Guidance was issued, which muddied the waters even further. Some banner ads—even for relatively clean medications—now seemed to require inclusion of extremely rare side effects, in equal prominence with the efficacy claims. Standards were subjective, and in some respects, akin to Stewart's "I know it when I see it" test for hard-core pornography. Companies developed their own distinct interpretations of regulatory compliance. Industry was paralyzed in that there was no rational, objective basis for assessing compliance. It’s not surprising that the flow of corporate money and related jobs in medical information was reduced to a trickle in some settings. This administration’s Biosimilar policy is also relevant here, but out of scope for this medium.

  • ||

    I am sorry Tom, I dont even know what a biosimilar policy is. Out of scope or not, give it a shot.

  • FAILtastic||

    One passage in particular stuck out: "If nothing changes, the whole budget would be consumed by interest payments. No politician wants that -- if only because there'll be no money to buy votes."

    Maybe that's what it has to come to. Maybe America has to go into default so that there is, in fact, no money with which politicians can buy votes. "When the tide goes out you'll see who's been swimming naked."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Just in time for Gillespie's appearance!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    This just in: The leather has transformed into a blazer.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Maybe they're watching peaceful shows rather than violent content. Maybe that's why crime is down.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    No one liked Twisted Sister. Not really.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Just as reading or watching pornagraphy doesn't mean you're not going to have more sex in your life..."

    WHAT??? All that time I've wasted.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Nick brings a discussion about teen sex around to the economy.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Was Pat Buchanan telling me that minorities are separating white America's cohesion? The nail polish remover to whiteys' glue?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Why is Charlie Crist here?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Henican doesn't hate oppressive regulation. Color me surprised.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ha, Henican is bolstering his arguments by unmarrying his assertions from real world experience.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    John Stossel: Ellis Henican strawman.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    What did Carter know? He didn't even have the foresight to film his malaise widescreen.

  • jason||

    He is vibrant leader and he have some magic words to increase his popularity.

  • tj66||

    Obama should ask himself: "Would I start or expand a business without knowing what regulations or taxes government will impose next year?"

    His answer would be "yes". You see, he BELEIVES in Government. Government makes things better and no reasonable person would oppose or distrust it.

  • dan'o||

    My old man, a member of a CEO group of primarily Fortune 500 companies, informed me about a conference call they had prior to the election in 2008. The discussion centered around the probability that an anti business guy (Obama) was going to win. Various CEO's were sharing their plans to brace for the changing regulatory climate, primarily by killing new projects and preparing "plan b" downsizing contingencies. What struck me was that the debate wasn't whether or not executive policy WOULD require mitigation on behalf of the private sector ... but HOW to prepare for the inevitable. Not that Romney is an ideal (or even likeable) candidate, but I sure hope America has the common sense to vote out the incumbent!

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