Monday, November 24, 2008

Having our cakes and eating them too with an early Bush resignation

Interesting column by Gail Collins in Nov. 22 New York Times calling for an early resignation of President Bush.

Of course Cheney would have to resign also, otherwise, under the constitution, we'd just get President Cheney until Obama's inauguration on January 20Th. If both Bush and Cheney were to resign, Nancy Pelosi would be next in line as Speaker of the House.

Wow. Maybe we're spoiled, but we'd be able to have our cake and eat it too. We'd still make history with the first woman president, Nancy Pelosi, while also getting the first minority president Obama in January.

Are we too spoiled to make choices or what?

Yes, choosing between a potential first woman president, Hillary Clinton, and a first racial minority in the Democratic primaries was hard, but maybe we can have it all.

Pelosi till January 20Th and then Obama. We can't wait, let's do all these "historic firsts" now.

Of course there is a lot of impatience about the economy as well, but even Gail Collins, who wrote that column, admits Obama, himself, might not like the idea of such a hasty transition. It would certainly mess up what is looking to be a very orderly and well orchestrated transition.

Be patient, January 20Th isn't that far off.

The idea is still intriguing however. Intriguing not so much for the economy, but for historic significance.

When it comes to the economy, no president wields a magic wand. Solutions are really up to the people. The same people who would like to have their cakes and eat them too.

Just a few short years ago, the economy was promising. Promising too much.

Rising house values and retirement portfolios seemed to be creating wealth out of thin air. Many folks were able to retire early, from selling a house, for instance. For a lot of upper middle class and the wealthy, things were quite rosy, even under that dreaded Bush administration.

Well, it wasn't sustainable.

All these promises of wealth in retirement plans, house values and so forth rely on a robust economy. A robust economy to pay the bills. Mortgage payments from people buying into the housing spiral at the bottom, rent payments and economic activity needs to keep flowing so values in those 401Ks can continue to amount to something.

When the economy slows down the dreamland of worth can't be maintained. In short, that's because the jobs don't pay enough to make high mortgages or rent payments. Goods and services don't sell fast enough to keep up that level of economic activity.

This is especially true if our economy has to slow down in order to combat global warming.

Even an Obama Presidency can't wave the magic wand and bring back those unrealistic expectations that so many people have become accustom to. Especially the unrealistic expectations of upper middle class and, of course, the wealthy.

I just read that the president of Washington State University, in Pullman, has offered to cut his own salary by $100,000. Now he's down to a salary of something like $635,000 per year. Wow! but at least it's a step in the right direction. I never fail to be amazed at how much wealth people think they need.

What we can expect is a change in thinking. A paradigm shift toward more "community good" and less "personal greed."

We have new , exciting and greener technology to look forward to also, if we're willing to implement it.

Telecommuting anyone?

We'll also need more patience and a bit of slowing down in the rat race we call our economy.

Looks like it isn't the end of the world to wait till January 20Th for Obama. Patience is a virtue that's been lacking in our recent "go, go" past.

Gee, maybe I'm asking for too much? Being too idealistic?

Think about this, I just heard on the radio that the transition was even longer when power shifted from Herbert Hoover to Franklin Roosevelt back in the depression days of the 1930s. People had to wait till March for Inauguration Day and that transition was rough.

Inauguration Day was constitutionally moved up to January in 1937. No wonder we're a bit spoiled now, not that many people, who are alive today, remember that era.


moneythoughts said...

I think it is wise for Obama to wait until january 20th. The Republicans would have a field day over such a move. God, we would never hear the end of it. Besides, Obama is not standing still, he is going ahead with annoucing his cabinet appointments and holding news conferences so the American (and World) public knows that thinking and actions are taking place.

I must disagree with you about the causes of the present economic crisis. It is two fold. First, the problem with the asset-backed bonds, which the sub prime mortgage bonds are a part of. And, second the sudden rise in the price of oil leading to a sudden rise in the price of gas and diesel. The first is a pure financial crisis. The second is an economic crisis, but because it was like a tax on the consumer across the board, the rise in gas and diesel prices took a lot of purchasing power out of the economy. If oil and gas prices would have remained stable, I think the crisis would not have been so bad. I place a lot of weight on the rise in oil and gas prices for taking a toll on the American consumer. I also believe that Pres. Bush could have done things to prevent the oil prices from running above $100 a barrel. He made a decision to do nothing but talk. Today Bush is not only a lame duck, he is just plain lame.

Theslowlane Robert Ashworth said...

An unrealistic dreamland of wealth in rising house values seemed to be more apparent on the coasts, rather than in the Midwest.

Yes, the lack of proper regulation on Wall Street helped to create a climate of too easy borrowing helping to inflate prices.

The oil shock had a lot to do with the situation also. As world economy was growing rapidly, we were starting to scrape the ceiling of "peak oil." This situation helped lead to oil price increases that shocked the economy.

There is a need for more sustainable energy policy. Also better regulation in the financial sector.

Slow steady growth can work, but it seems like some of the folks on the right believed growth could go even faster with less regulation. It was playing with fire.