What I didn’t hear

Last night’s debate was a much more evenly played rock ‘em, sock ‘em event than the first presidential debate held earlier this month.  President Obama’s performance, while far from excellent, was much improved.  He had to recover from last week’s listless performance and I believe he managed to do so.  Governor Romney was able to rebut many of the President’s statements and for that reason did not, in my opinion, lose much of the momentum he gained earlier this month.

But while both men may have managed a tie for their performances, the real loser last night was American commerce and the economy overall.  Neither candidate brought any fresh perspective to the discussion of the federal government’s role in a free market economy.

Mr. Romney spent most of the evening telling us how he was going to fix the economy and grow 12 million jobs.  Really, Mr. Romney?  You can do all that?  And then, as if to make up for his lost libertarian bona fides, he ends the evening saying twice that government cannot create jobs.  I don’t know.  Maybe his staffers shared one of my tweets with him.

Mr. Obama, the uber progressive, surprised me with his faux passionate defense of the free enterprise system.  He declared that he believes in free markets.  Again, really?  If that is the case, Mr. President, why the promotion of the Dodd-Frank Act?  Why support the burdensome concept of net neutrality for broadband providers?  Why even intervene in the housing market with a loan modification program that may scare away investors and underwriters?

In the end, what I didn’t hear was a plan to make government less interventionist and more of a promoter of American commerce, both here and abroad.  I didn’t hear a plan, a detailed strategy.  I heard too much noise.

About Alton Drew

Alton Drew brings a straight forward and insightful brand of political market intelligence. Alton Drew graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in economics and political science (1984); a Master of Public Administration (1993); and a Juris Doctor (1999). You can also follow Alton Drew on Twitter @altondrew.
This entry was posted in Barack Obama, commerce, Economy, Elections 2012, libertarian, Mitt Romney, net neutrality and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to What I didn’t hear

  1. Kenneth Ciszewski says:

    If Romney were to use his considerable wealth to actually fund manufacturing jobs, he could do a lot of good. I don’t think he could get to 12 million, but he could do a lot of good. Considering the jobs he destroyed when at Bain Capital, he sort of owes us!

    We have a couple of local political ads (I live near St. Louis, MO) that promote certain candidates as “job creators”. One fellow actually owns a real manufacturing business, and he claims he knows how to create job–he’s done it before (that’s what he says in the ad)!. My question to him, and Romney, and all the rest of these “job creators” is, “how many factories are you personally going to start up to create jobs?” Since government doesn’t actually create jobs, it’s the only way to actually be a job creator. Otherwise, one is only someone who might assist others in the creation of jobs.

    Of course, it’s not only politicians that like the illusion that government creates jobs. Business is OK with the idea tacitly, as long as government uses the illusion to send it money to help it create jobs. Not that the money always does that. But hey, take what you can get.

  2. I tend to think Obama’s “interfering” in commerce is actually slowing down the widening divide the rich and the poor in this country. If he didn’t, we might have a situation similar to that of Russia before the Bolshevik Revolution, where tensions were so high that radical political groups gained momentum. Nobody in America wants that, right?

  3. Very interesting debate, I really enjoy seeing two people really wanting to do SOMETHING. Hopefully America makes the wise choice, we could use a boost! Great post, thanks for sharing and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  4. Both of them are beholden to the same powers… powers that don’t really care about the struggling middle class, but only about lining their own pockets. The debates are all just a bunch of soundbites designed to fool the masses and exempt them from any personal responsibility to do their own research and make informed decisions.

  5. Dawn Akemi says:

    American commerce and government intervention have cumulatively formed a complex interplay which precludes the strategies of one man to save us.

  6. It’s not about the government creating jobs as much as the government assisting or investing in the creation of jobs. When Pres. Obama says he’ll create jobs he means the government will invest in job-creating industries.

    I think that interfering in the economy is not anti-free market but protecting free market because things can easily go the opposite directions without those protections or inferences. Speaking of the housing market particularly, the underwriters were the problem in the first place.

    I agree that they fix not go into specifics but in an hour and a half debate they never will. And many would argue that Pres. Obama is far from an uber progressive by a long shot.

  7. cartoonmick says:

    All this political spin is doing my head in.
    A doctor will tell you, “everything in moderation”.
    But when we’re continually overdosed with political spin we become sick, sick of politics.
    Post election months are great times, and we will all feel well again (unless you backed the wrong horse).




  8. So long as the American media focus almost exclusively on what I call the “DemoPublican” candidates, you won’t hear a candidate say that. If they allowed all candidates to participate in the debates, including the so-called “Third-Party” candidates, you would probably hear a Libertarian candidate speak some words that badly need to be spoken. And he or she would mean those words.

  9. I’d like to see those who now are winning record corporate profits create a few jobs. Whether or not the government is involved is moot to me. The two largest sources of new jobs in this economy are risible — retail and foodservice. These “jobs” are part-time with no benefits and pay minimum wage. I’m weary of corporate posturing; if you’re earning the highest corporate profits in decades, then hire some of the millions of Americans who want, need and deserve a living wage and a decent life — not $7 an hour slinging burgers or hoping, wishing and praying for a few more grueling, poorly paid low-wage shifts at their local mall.

    I lived that life for 27 months and wrote a book about it. The gap between what a major retailer pays its front-line associates and their productivity makes a mockery of hard work.

  10. Jason says:

    It’s refreshing to hear more people asking these questions. How can the executive branch of government create jobs? Where is the plan behind the rhetoric?… so many more questions unanswered and yet all this talk & noise.

  11. lsurrett2 says:

    More and more I am tending toward my husband’s idea that they hold hands and jump off a pier.

  12. segmation says:

    I think that is was a total waste of the taxpayers time! Good entertainment, don’t you think?

  13. I’d like to leave a comment—more-or-less agreeing with you—plus write some poetry about it, but Ron, our blog Administrator, and I are on opposite side of the aisle on this one (He a rabid Obama fan and Mitt “hater”…and I against Obama and the “social progressive” agenda in general). Hence I’m not writing any political poetry for the time being. But come see us, anyway—I will be following you on my Word Press reader—for a good time. Mr. DuBour and I have different writing styles too, and often play off each other with postings. Come be entertained at: ourpoetrycorner.wordpress.com.

  14. I am new to word press and, acccordingly, I have tried to be like the new kid on the block, respectful, courteous, deferential. But now I am going to flip. I really did not like that essay. It reeked of mousey moderation. I know where I am. I don’t say go West young man; I say go left.

    The essay bemoans Obama’s intervention in the economy,but doesn’t the author know that the govt has been intevening, to help elites, from the beginning. How do I begin to count the ways:

    1) The govt. subsidized the buidling of America’s railroads, loaning out engineers from the Army and enormous plots of land at no or nominal fees

    2) The Sup Court said, in the 1880’s, that corporations were persons insofar as the 14th amendment was concerned.

    (That ushered in the Lochner era which paved the way for the robber barons . In lochner the Sup Ct said that taxes or restraints on Corps were a denial of their right, as persons, to their property.and that prop could not be taken without due process of Law — as if legislation lacked due process of Law. Lochner invalidated a New York Law which said that bakers could not be compelled to work more than 60 hours per week!!! The reasoning of Lochner existed from 1906, when the case was decided, until FDR planned to pack the Sup Court in 1937 or thereabouts.)

    They forgot that the 14th amendment was supposed to protect the freed slaves. I don’t want to sound like a snot, but I went to NYU law school and know my stuff. Yes, I am an elitest. Most of the people are fooled most of the time.

    3) Oil Corps have been benefitting from very generoius tax policies.

    4) And the writer complains about Dodd-Frank as if it were too much regulation. Jesus, don’t we remember that derivative trading almost ushered in a second great depression which was averted only because of Obama’s resort to old fashioned Keynsian, liberal policies — A stimulus bill which intentionally boosted the deficit (I wish Obama would explain economics to the common people). Anyways, I don’t want to sound crass in my criticism of the author. I simply am ah ardent liberal. I have been a litigator in the New York Courts. Trust me: The more you know, the furher to the Left you become. PS. please read my blog gunsandnobutter. .

  15. Please pardon my typos in my immediately preceding comment.

  16. foldedcranes says:

    Is there any plan any politician on any side could produce that would mean anything? Surely markets are large and complex and adaptable enough in a world economy that means even the President of the US can only manage so much.

    And besides, if they had a plan, wouldn’t it still be interfering one way or another?

    As for the sort-of-choice between Obama and Romney, well, don’t we get the politicians we deserve?

  17. Reblogged this on vitainalbin and commented:
    Latest Update

  18. Politics in America has become dangerous at best. IMHO.

    Thank you for your post, and congrats!


  19. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Why Dodd-Frank? Remember Enron? AIG? Credit default swaps? The Wall Street and home mortgage disaster? I sure don’t want to live in a world where businesses aren’t regulated. Free enterprise doesn’t mean we don’t protect our citizens from the excesses, lack of quality control, and the greed of unfettered commerce.

  20. Sarasponda says:

    I think one of the best ways that the government can create jobs is by creating certainty in the future. You have all these CEO’s in these multi-billion dollar corporations hoarding cash because they do not know what the future holds. If the government can provide confidence in the consumers and job-creators that something -ANYTHING- can be agreed upon (ahem, congress fighting over nickles and dimes to stall passing a budget) and carried through, I think you’ll see many companies adapt to whatever they need to and loosen their purse strings to start re-investing in themselves by creating more jobs.

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