Economics has been referred to as "the dismal art." As it's being practiced by the Obama administration these days, that description hardly begins to describe it. Dismal is what we're seeing, hearing and feeling with every new economic report.
Every economic indicator that should be up is down, and vice-versa. There are record numbers of Americans living in poverty and on food stamps, record numbers of Americans out of work or working in jobs outside their chosen field for far less money than a few years ago. Inflation is way up, led by energy prices. One big reason for the high cost of groceries has to do with energy: we're using foodstuffs, primarily corn, for fuel.
The Obama administration concocted the Cash for Clunkers program that, while nice in theory, was a disaster in practice. Recently constructed vehicles were destroyed by the program, skewing the price of used vehicles and putting a reasonably priced used car out of reach for many Americans.
These are but two examples of the many wrong economic notions that this administration has glommed onto. It seems that Obama and his economic team have a penchant for pursuing all the wrong policies in trying to control our economy and get it back on its feet.
In short, Mr. President, you're doing it wrong.
It's not just the practices and false theories. There are plenty of those to go around. We're getting many lessons in what not to do. Destroying perfectly good vehicles isn't a good idea in any economy. Neither is using food for fuel, especially when we have vast reserves of oil and natural gas that we aren't allowed to harvest.
I fear is that, as we watch more and more questionable economic policies and theories being employed by Obama, we're in danger of forgetting how it's really done. We have some recent history to guide us in making sound economic decisions, but no one inside the Beltway seems to understand it.
This administration is teaching a valuable lesson to the nation. It's doing everything in its considerable power to alter our traditionally free market. These economic gurus and guru-ettes have studied every sort of cockamamie economic theory except the one that works. And the one thing that would work would be removing the shackles of government from the market.
Capitalism is being strangled to death. And the very same ones doing the strangling are more than happy to say that capitalism doesn't work. Indeed, how can it when the Obama administration is busy churning out more and more regulations by the day? It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I get queasy when I see what the White House is doing. I'm past the idea that this is the cause of incompetence. After nearly three years, these people know what they're doing. They're trying to permanently alter our economic system so it will never again function as intended. "Fundamental transformation" is the term they use, if I remember correctly.
I'm not alone in my assessment. This link from Hot Air says it all: The vast majority of Americans believe business and consumers are over-regulated. And this post from Fox News.com puts it into perspective...
From financial services to farming, plumbing to computer repair, business owners say new regulations have them so bogged down in compliance that it is hindering their ability to plan and expand for the coming years.
Even though President Obama recently acknowledged the need to minimize regulations, the number appears to be growing. Obama administration regulations on new business rose to 3,573 final rules in 2010, up from 3,503 in 2009 -- the equivalent of about 10 per week.
Indeed, the 2010 volume of the Federal Register, the "newspaper" of regulatory agencies, stands at an all-time record-high 81,405 pages composed of final rules, proposed rules, meeting notices and regulatory studies.
"There is something like 180 million words of binding federal law and regulation. It would take a lifetime just to read it," said Philip K Howard, founder of Common Good.
But this is only one mistake this administration is making. Of course, I'm assuming they really want the economy to perk up. It would seem that after nearly three years of wrong decisions and using flawed and erroneous economic theories, they would change course and embrace the free market.
Instead, they act as though the private sector doesn't even exist when it comes to creating jobs.
I just hope we don't forget completely how it's done, reviving the economy, that is. Ace had this story from NRO in the sidebar the other day. It's long, but well worth your time to read - Houston, we have a solution. It's an economic Tale of Two Cities. And speaking of Michigan, here's a stat I've never seen before, the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. (Warning: the comments are NSFW, being as how they're Morons and all.)
And if you don't read anything else today, read this, also from Ace's sidebar - The Progressive and the Pencil.
At least there are a few people who remember how free market capitalistic economics is supposed to work.
We need to remind ourselves that what's currently happening to our economy need not happen. If we had the right people in the right places in Washington, we wouldn't be in the mess we find ourselves in today.
There is a right way to get our economy going again, to create jobs and wealth and tax revenue and everything else we need.
This administration refuses to do it.