Sunday, September 23, 2012

Nobody Has the Answers

With just six weeks to go to elections, Obama seems to be pulling out ahead, and it's no wonder. Really, what independent minded person looking at this as a job hire would pick the applicant with so many questions hanging over his resume? There was a great piece in the New Yorker by John Cassidy as to the reasons Romney seems to be falling apart in the home stretch, ranging from an incompetent campaign manager to the demographics of the country that seem to be favoring the Democratic party. But it seems clear that both Romney and the Republican party in general are fighting strong headwinds to regain the White House. The question now is, should one hope for big Democratic gains on the House and Senate? I have two opinions on this. First one is that yes, a Democratic majority would move the country off the dime of stalemate and help promote a progressive agenda that might get us moving in a positive direction. But, on the other hand, the economic forces arraigned against Uncle Sam are mighty, and I don't believe either party has an answer to the shortfall between what American's regard as a decent middle class existence, i.e. doing better than one's parents, and the reality that the economic growth we need to accomplish it is probably not going to happen -- barring the recreation of a bubble economy such as the one we have had for the last thirty years. Indeed, I tend to side with Republican opinion when looking at the recent moves by the Federal Reserve to create liquidity by buying bonds and setting interest rates so low as to discourage people from using banks. So now we have a stock market that's bubbling over because the big institutional players have no where else to park their money. What is wrong with that picture?

Anthony Caplan is a writer, blogger, teacher and homesteader in New Hampshire. He is the author of the novels Birdman, French Pond Road, and the just released Latitudes - A Story of Coming Home. Find out more about him and his work at 

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