Jots with dots 1/7/15

Conservative outrage du jour. Didn’t we go weeks before the President called Benghazi a terrorist attack? Maybe this is an example of Obama unbound, and it caught Ernest offguard. But really…this probably isn’t a case of Ernest or the administration initially giving in to an instinct to not offend Muslims. It’s that the administration usually declines to use the word terrorism, eg Ft. Hood, Benghazi, because they don’t want the observation to stick that they’ve been lax in their security efforts. So Ernest basically has a rule, never use the T word, even if it’s totally obvious, until we can figure out if someone can make political hay over it. Now this was in France, so there’s no hay, and so Ernest can cease obnoxious dissembling.

Politically, this probably does require an explanation. I still think the practical answer is that the American economy is naturally buoyant and given its druthers will return to a state of vigor. 6 + years down the road from the problems of 2008, after 4 years of stability that comes with gridlock, we’re back to a bit of vigor. Voila. But it’s hard to explain this way, and you do get some sense that Republicans will be in the position like that of Democrats who claim the 80’s were bad economically. Not a lot of believers for it.

I was thinking yesterday….In the 90’s I was a young man starting out, I was in my 20’s for most of the go-go 90’s. And I got my foot in the door so to speak, I got past some barriers to entry that the young face. But I didn’t materially prosper so much, as I was working my way up from a low starting point and I owned little. It was the boomers, by and large, who seemed to materially prosper in the 90’s. They were of an age where they were ripe to do so, they were in their 40’s, in the sweet spot of life with a lot of energy. And as there were so many of them, the boomers imposed their will on the zeitgeist with the economic boom being a function of demographic self-fulfillment. How’s that for a sentence.

Given proper conditions, you wonder if that can happen now. Xers at 45 have as much energy, and Yers at 45 will too, but there just aren’t as many of us. But if you assume the outlook is dour because of this, I do think you’re thinking only in Caucasian middle class terms. I do wonder about the relative age of the immigrant population. I think they are youngish. If they get mainstreamed and experience their peak earnings at 45 – 50 like everyone else, they’ll be a boom / boomlet, and everyone in the economy prospers.


One thought on “Jots with dots 1/7/15

  1. pm1956

    Conservative outrage du jour: what crap. So he waited longer than someone else to call this terrorism. When did rashness become more important in a leader than caution? What a bunch of maroons. This is why I do not think conservatives are ready to lead.

    Obamacare will I think, be a net plus for the economy. 2 main reasons: 1) it makes it much easier and more affordable for someone to become an entrepreneur–they can get affordable health care. They are not tied to a large corporation for healthcare. this encourages efficiency in the economy, by reducing the artificially created attachments people have to their current jobs. And it is one of the reasons that business did not like Obamacare. their leverage over their employees has been weakened. 2) it appears to be starting to contain health care cost inflation. Obviously still early, and correlation is not causation, but….

    Still, your general point is valid. There are a whole lot of reasons for the economy to be improving, and i do not think that Obamacare would be right at the top of that list. Still, it clearly has not been any sort of a drag on the economy. Those who made those predictions were letting their partisan instincts control their mouths (which is not uncommon in politics).

    That said, i also think that your broader point about the boomers (I am one) is correct–our size was a huge stimulus to the economy. And i think that immigration ( and I think your hunch about their relative youth is also correct) will be a significant boost to our economy. We need population growth. Demographics is destiny–just look at japan. this is where I think those who are opposed to Obama’s immigration plans are fools. We need immigration for population growth, and for economic growth. Closing our borders (to immigrants, trade, etc.) to try to preserve jobs or our culture or the past is a fools errand. Can’t be done, and it will only hurt us.


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