Whenever the index of consumer confidence averages 95 or better in an election year, the incumbent wins; when it’s under 95, he loses. For example, incumbent George W. Bush won with a reading of 96; Bill Clinton, with 105. This year, the index has averaged 67, leaving virtually no chance that it can make 95 for the year as a whole.
Things not only must change, they will change. Either we will make the difficult choices or those changes will be forced by the market. And the longer we put off the difficult choices, the more painful the
Almost every new product in Steve Jobs’ second career at Apple reshaped its industry, crushing competitors and extinguishing some of their jobs, while creating jobs and profits in the Apple orbit. That’s how entrepreneurial capitalism enriches the world, and that’s why political capitalism fails to create jobs.
If Steve Jobs anywhere expressed the notion, increasingly popular among American elites, that the U.S. is unable any longer “to compete,” we are unaware of it.
We are crossing a huge chasm from an industrial society to an information society. And there is immense pain in that transformation.
We keep hearing about what the government should do to create jobs. And the reality is that it can do precious little. Private businesses create jobs, and nearly all net new jobs for the last two decades have come from start-up businesses. What government can do is create an environment that encourages new businesses, get rid of red tape (especially in biotech, where the FDA is mired in the 1980s!), stop creating even more rules that make it costly for new businesses to hire, and so on. I could go on, but the fact is, we are in for a rather long period of higher-than-comfortable unemployment. And that means lower tax revenues and a more difficult economy.