Democrats & Liberals Archives

Replace Pessimism with Optimism

Depressions lead to pessimism. More pessimism leads to greater depression. As people lose jobs, homes and businesses, they spend less, invest less and avoid risk. These pessimistic actions tend to exacerbate the depression. There is only one way out: we must replace pessimism with optimism.

It's tough trying to be optimistic in the face of all the negative shouting and screaming of Republicans and Teapartiers and Fox News extremists against President Obama and against all Democrats. They all claim to be angry. Angry at what? That the economy fell into a tailspin? Who was in charge when the Depression hit? Republican President George W. Bush. Are they angry with him? Of course, not. They are angry with President Obama!

From his first day in office, President Obama worked hard to turn the Bush Depression around. He did many things to improve our economy, all of which are overlooked by Republicans who keep yelling that the economy has not produced any jobs and did not improve at all. Republicans even have the chutzpah to call this an Obama Depression!

What gall! Mike Dorning at Newsweek has a much more complimentary view of Obama and more optimistic view of the recovery:

Little more than a year ago, financial markets were in turmoil, major auto companies were on the verge of collapse and economists such as Paul Krugman were worried about the U.S. slumbering through a Japan-like Lost Decade. While no one would claim that all the pain is past or the danger gone, the economy is growing again, jumping to a 5.6% annualized growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2009 as businesses finally restocked their inventories. The consensus view now calls for 3% growth this year, significantly higher than the 2.1 % estimate for 2010 that economists surveyed by Bloomberg News saw coming when Obama first moved into the Oval Office. The U.S. manufacturing sector has expanded for eight straight months, the Business Roundtable's measure of CEO optimism reached its highest level since early 2006, and in March the economy added 162,000 jobs—more than it had during any month in the past three years. "There is more business confidence out there," says Boeing (BA) CEO Jim McNerney. "This Administration deserves significant credit."

Yes, "This Administration deserves significant credit." But will any of the screaming angry people give credit where due? NO. They just don't like him and will continue their pessimistic rantings. What they are doing, in essence, is prolonging the economic recovery.

The rest of us should look at the economy in a more rational way. Listen to Dorning. Listen to mainstream economists. The economy is improving, and a good deal of the improvement is due to the actions of President Obama and his economic team. Of course, the economy is nowhere near where it is supposed to be. But we have reason to be optimistic about the future. It's time to spend more, invest more and risk more.

President Obama has stopped the Depression in its tracks. Though, as he says, we're not entirely out of the woods, it's time to replace our pessimism with optimism.

Posted by Paul Siegel at April 11, 2010 4:42 PM
Comments
Comment #298806

Paul
I’m very optomistic that the Democrats will loose quite a few seats come Nov. and I very optomistic that whoever takes over those seats will steer this country back from the brink of Bankruptcy. When your party jammed through a piece of legislation that a majority of people in this country were against you only have yourselves to blame for whatever happens in November.

Posted by: MAG at April 11, 2010 6:48 PM
Comment #298807

The recession is indeed over and the recovery has begun. TARP, passed in October 2008 and the stimulus helped end the recession. The FED did the most work.

But the continued growth of government will make this recovery slower and less robust than usual. The problem is that what was appropriate to do when we were falling, is not appropriate to do when we are climbing out.

But politics and payback will ensure that we pump more money in and more debt up.

Posted by: C&J at April 11, 2010 6:49 PM
Comment #298810

Paul,

How did you find these two (three) optimists so quickly?

Posted by: Marysdude at April 11, 2010 7:48 PM
Comment #298818

I am opimistic we are going to bring America back from the brink of socialism in November.

Posted by: Beretta9 at April 11, 2010 10:26 PM
Comment #298825

C&J
Until the private sector starts expanding again it is only government that can fill the void. They cannot lower interest rates below zero as a stimulent. All but 1 G7 country had to do the same and that one,Canada, had maintainned their strict banking regulation. If McCain had won the election he would have been forced to stimulate the economy and bailout Wall Street. It was the only responsible approach to take. Things are looking up a bit. The ticking up of bond rates from record lows means that the private sector is starting to be a little more competitive in garnering capital. BHO should have push through a much larger stimulus so it will take longer than it should for employment and demand to pick up ,but it will. At that point,if you are serious about deficit control, the revenue side must be addressed as well as the spending side.

Posted by: bills at April 12, 2010 1:11 AM
Comment #298835

Bills

The stimulus was necessary. It is hard to know when to pull it back.

I think a big problem as that we (as a nation) were consuming more than we could afford. That demand collapsed because it was not sustainable. The government really should not step in to keep that adrenaline pumping. Unfortunately, we have to suffer the correction.

It might be that your house just isn’t worth as much as you paid for it or as much as it was worth in 2006. Should we arrange the system to keep that price high?

The economy was artificially high. It is coming back to the former levels. We have to let some of these things fall. We are actually poorer than we thought. Wealth comes only from producing something somebody else wants. We can stimulate that so that people want more things, but that isn’t sustainable.

Posted by: C&J at April 12, 2010 7:54 AM
Comment #298843

The economy won’t recover until businesses and consumers are more confident. With the current Presidents agenda, he has done NOTHING to boost confidence. Indeed, he has caused everyone to build that wall higher and thicker. Lets tax businesses, MAKE them provide insurance, and then tell them if they use too much energy, they will be fined. Then try to win them over by offering a $1000 tax credit to hire an employee and keep them for a year. That credit wont cover what they spent on that 1 employee, or the requirements they have put on businesses. Unemployment will start to climb again now that the holidays are over, and once the census is complete. That 9.7% is artificial. Consumers don’t know if they’ll have a job tomorrow, so they are hoarding their money. Are they putting it in banks? Hell no, because the gov’t has stuck their nose in that too. Obama needs to pull back and let capitalism work. Did Bush do a stand up job? Nope, nowhere near it. But folks, the time has come to stop blaming Bush and start looking at the hole that is being dug wider and deeper by the current administration. It needs to end now, before that “hole” devours us all!

Posted by: shankapotomus at April 12, 2010 10:52 AM
Comment #298873

shank, Do you suppose we might be able to fill that hole back in as things return to normal? If spending a little more stimulus now returns normalcy quicker is that not a good thing. And you know what, we are still suffering the effects of Bush and will be for a long time. So if you don’t mind, even though republicans refuse to, I will continue to blame him for what ails the nation. Funny that you mention nothing to boost confidence. I have talked with quite a few people lately of all stripes who all seem quite confident that things are improving. I was out doing a little shopping yesterday and there was a lot of activity in every store I was in. That ranged from gardening to electronics to grocery items. The author presented you with real numbers that indicate you are indeed at least partially wrong with your assertion.

Posted by: RickIL at April 12, 2010 7:06 PM
Comment #298875

Beretta, From the brink of socialism to what? The same people that graced the halls of congress under Bush are still there. They have yet to accept responsibility for bankrupting the nation. If they can’t locate the source of the disease or even recognize what it is for that matter, how can they possibly know how to cure it? I guess that means you are advocating for more of the same malfeasance that birthed our current financial scenario. It all seems a bit like the dog chasing his tail to me.

Posted by: RickIL at April 12, 2010 7:20 PM
Comment #298919

RickIL,

I see you drank the kool aid. Spending now, at the levels that this administration is spending, is a real problem. And sure, Bush did spend too much. Nowhere in that post does it say that Bush isnt partly to blame for the situation we find ourselves in. And I’m not a Republican. I’m one of those people you wont see out in those stores buying things because I cant afford to anymore. I used to be able to, but over the last three years, my dollars just dont go as far. So I suppose I should follow Obama’s lead, and start racking up more bills to pay the minimum payments on the bills i have already? Of course not. Thats what Obama and his ‘posse’ are doing. There are MANY out there that think that we would have been out of this recession months ago, if not for all the debt piled up. But the process has been slowed or stalled due to the deflation of the dollar. As far as mentioning nothing to boost confidence… LEAVE IT ALONE! Let capitalism work. What makes you think capitalism, which is what made this country what it is, is broken? People, and government, spent beyond their means… so you suggest spend more to solve it? Thats a good one. I think i’ll go borrow a few thousand now so i can buy that ‘bridge to nowhere’ your selling. Spending…got us into this mess, why do you think it will get us out? “and in March the economy added 162,000 jobs.”, THE CENSUS STARTED IN MARCH!!! Those are temporary jobs, the vast majority anyway. And as far as business and manufacturing growth…thats because the gov’t was too busy trying to pass that fluff called a healthcare reform bill, to SPEND MORE MONEY. See, the govt doesnt spend, the economy grows. Now with the healthcare bill, bet ya it starts to level out or recede once again. THANKS OBAMA!!!

Posted by: shankapotomus at April 13, 2010 7:23 PM
Comment #298926

Shank, You are forgetting a little thing called CDO’s which capitalists used to set the bankruptcy of this nation in motion. No matter how you look at it, it was capitalists that let us down. I am not saying that I do not believe in the concept of capitalism. I am implying that capitalists need to be monitored and kept in check by regulation and independent entities that hold no particular obligation to them. Expecting them to monitor themselves is just foolishness. Indications are that the financial condition of this country is on an upswing. I am sorry you don’t like that. It is not going to be evident for everyone immediately. When it is done I believe the picture will be much different than before. And not for the better depending on which side of the fence you sit on. Capitalists are using this downturn to demand regressions in protections, wages and benefits in favor of employment. They are retooling in order that they can produce more with less. As for the kool-aid, I personally don’t drink the stuff. I prefer to form my own opinion based on multiple sources, none of which have anything to do with cable tv, right or left radio.

Sometimes I think a lot of you folks simply do not wish to acknowledge the severity of the situation the previous administration left the incoming party. It really seems like you would have preferred the country go belly up as opposed to letting anyone other than a republican run this country. It all seems petty, selfish, partisan and narrow to me.

Posted by: Rickil at April 13, 2010 9:46 PM
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