Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama and the Economy

I'm 64, and can't recall a time when a President-elect had quite so much on the plate. I believe comparisons to Lincoln and FDR are appropriate.

The headlines this morning: Obama calling on economic experts for their advice.

It's going to take a lot of cool-headed thinking to find an approach, likely, multiple approaches, to resolving the world's financial crisis brought about by ideological thinking.

As Greenspan noted in his recent testimony to Congress, "everyone has an ideology."

That's true, but some ideologies are spelled with capital letters and others are a bit more fluid.

When Greenspan admitted that his Ideology, held for forty years, was flawed, he might well have said, "Any Ideology, spelled with capital letters, is flawed." Life doesn't yield to superimposed models (see Chaos Theory). Life requires a fluid, responsive, approach - a commitment to principles, but a willingness to revise the game plan and made lots of mid-course adjustments.

What we've seen since the halcyon days of Reagan has been an IDEOLOGY - ill-thought, never tested in a complex modern economy, looked upon as foolish by our Allies, and for my take on things, essentially fascist - the linking of business and government via the instruments of deregulation and low taxes. The fatal flaw of Greenspan's Ideology: what's good for business will be good for everyone.

Now is not the time for Ideology ... now is the time for intelligence.

Does Obama and his team have what it takes?

I believe so, but only time will tell.

The magnitude of our problems is immeasurable ... it took a long time for us to get here, and it will likely take some time for us to find our way through and out.

But I am heartened by Obama's style - to consult with the best and to think his way through, reminding us with the truth: it will take time - a year or two, maybe even the first time. This is the kind of honest talk we've needed to hear for a long time.

If confidence-building is one of Obama's primary tasks, it will be done with the truth!

And, as Jesus said, "the truth is what sets us free."

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