Most of the commentary on Obama’s economic changes I have read are fairly pessimistic. He should bring in someone like Krugman or Reich but he is probably going to go with a former corporate type. I am no insider so I have no idea what the President is thinking. He does need to give people hope that he has things under control, or at least is taking measures to bring about the economic prosperity that Americans crave.
I am not so sure that is what we need, at least not without some restructuring. A return to the excesses of the Bush years is no solution. Simply continuing as before with big polluting cars, energy wasting housing, exurbs and suburbs dependent on those big polluting cars is not the way to go. What we do need is a change in direction. Creating a green economy with the energy of the future is the intelligent action. Cleaning up the mess made in the last couple of centuries should take a lot of time and energy if it is properly incorporated in the economy.
The President is right in pushing for a green energy future. Solar, wind and wave power are only a few of the more obvious sources of power. The USA needs to tighten up in its recycling, insulation and mass transit. All these are things the President can emphasize. Creating a federal jobs program is one way to get people off the unemployment rolls. Bring unemployment down and the American people will be happy.
“Summers’ end brings little hope of change in economic policy
Obama miscues leave little room for maneuver
By Darrell Delamaide
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) —
Obama is considering replacing Lawrence Summers, who announced plans to leave the president’s economics team, with a senior corporate executive.
Whoever the successor, their hands will be tied
One thing we have learned about Obama’s economic appointments is the fewer, the better – he has not had a lucky hand.
And now one of the first names floated as a possible successor to Summers is Ann Fudge, a former chief executive of Young and Rubicam. The White House wants a female with CEO experience, according to the Beltway buzz, to demonstrate that Obama is not anti-business – a logic so stunningly superficial that the rumor has instant credibility.
Other potential women candidates mentioned in the Washington rumor mill include Ann Mulcahy, former Xerox CEO, and economist Laura Tyson, who held both the NEC job and the CEA chairmanship under Clinton.
The fact is that a string of mistakes in economic policy have left the administration with little room to maneuver no matter who takes Summers’ place. The only hope for the economy at this point is a second round of quantitative easing at the Fed – the QE2 that the market now considers relatively certain after the Federal Open Market Committee’s communiqué this week.
Unless Obama were to do something uncharacteristically bold and appoint a progressive like Robert Reich or Paul Krugman, there is little hope that the administration would undertake any new economic policy that would change anything.
Even appointing Fudge or Mulcahy might be too venturesome, and the White House could end up just promoting one of Summers’ deputies, Jason Furman or Diana Farrell. Furman at least has a doctorate in economics and was a Stiglitz protégé at the CEA. Farrell worked at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey and is not an economist.
At this point, the best we can hope for in Summers’ replacement is that he or she does no harm.”
There is another issue, that is Obama’s war in South Asia. Palki-Afi-stans is one war being fought against an enemy using classic guerrilla warfare tactics. The theory is to wear down the resistance of the occupier by getting them to overextend themselves with is exactly what the USA has done.
From StarTibune Minneapolis/St. Paul
“Obama’s war within the war
New book documents bitter fights over Afghan strategy.
By NEWS SERVICES
Last update: September 22, 2010 - 11:00 PM
WASHINGTON - A new book by Bob Woodward depicts months of discord, quarreling and turf wars within the Obama administration as it thrashed out the policy it would pursue in Afghanistan, but senior White House officials said Wednesday that they were satisfied with the image it presents of the president.
The book depicts an administration deeply torn over the war in Afghanistan even as the president agreed to triple troop levels there. Obama’s top White House adviser on Afghanistan and his special envoy for the region are described as believing the strategy will not work.
The president concluded from the start that “I have two years with the public on this” and pressed advisers for ways to avoid a big escalation, the book says. “I want an exit strategy,” he implored at one meeting. He eventually dictated a classified six-page “terms sheet” that sought to limit U.S. involvement, and set July 2011 as the starting date for a withdrawal.
Privately, he told Vice President Joe Biden to push his alternative strategy opposing a big troop buildup in meetings, and while Obama ultimately rejected it, he set the withdrawal timetable because, “I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party.”"
Obama also gave Colin Powell an opportunity to advise him on how to handle the war in Afghanistan. He should have taken Biden’s advice and ended the military commitment in Afghanistan. There is no way to win there unless you are willing to get in bed with the locals and live there. I don’t think the USA is willing to do that, it is not politically acceptable for the Democrats and we are at least 2 years away from a Republican administration. The USA is stuck being an imperial power with a president who feigns to have a conscience. That got the Progressive wing behind him but his idea of a conscience is to accept the nobel peace prize while he announces an increase in the troops in Afghanistan. It is a consciousness of power. How that deserves a peace prize is beyond me.