With Obama’s re-election, there seems to be a certain view that things are only going to get better from here. Respectfully, I would have to disagree. While Obama was likely a better choice for the average American, there seems to be signals that the market isn’t happy, and isn’t looking forward to continued legislative deadlock over economic policy. The Dow Jones, NASDAQ and S&P 500 are all down between 1.8% and 2.1%, the largest single-day fall since June. Despite the echoing rhetoric that ‘things will be better’ that seems to resonate with much of the population, the unfortunate reality is that things will likely get worse before they get better. There are structural issues that remain to be addressed, and some feel Obama lacks the political impetus to address. An interview on Bloomberg with Alan Greenspan today lent some insight into the issue.
Forget the pressing foreign policy concerns. Ever higher debt levels, paired with the impending fiscal cliff in America, disaster in Europe and cracks beginning to show in China presents a serious challenge for President Obama. While these challenges could be faced with a united legislative body, the entrenched partisanship has straitjacketed action for so long, that it is tough to imagine any decisive action.
The Republican Party has to get itself in order to have any chance of winning in the next four years. Very similar to Alberta’s Wildrose Party, they can’t have candidates making socially regressive statements on issues like abortion, gay marriage and immigration. The Republicans, despite the Electoral Votes, did gain momentum in this election, but it is incumbent on them to substantially reformat their social policies to solidify this shift. With any luck, the Tea Party will die off and allow for a more vocal centre-right within the party.
The next few months will be fascinating. There will be policies debated and initiated that will have long-lasting effects both on the world economy. Hopefully, they will stop the slow decline of the country, and prevent another world-wide recession. Or, pessimistically, the decline of America is upon us.
Dave is in his third year of Political Science and Economics, and is currently weeping over Gary Johnson’s loss.