Archived Opinion

The real problem with the economy

To the Editor:

Let’s look at what truly stimulates an economy, creates jobs, drives markets and produces tax revenue to fund government services. Should it be a mystery that in a brief period of time the greatest economy in history suddenly had the pins pulled out from under it? We talk about jobs lost, the absence of bank lending, the bottom falling out of the real estate market, reduced consumer spending, and on and on. What do all of these occurrences have in common? They are all symptoms of a much deeper but simple problem. The root problem that drives all of these is simply a lack of confidence.

Confidence in the future creates jobs in every viable business in the country. It encourages banks to lend, individuals to spend and it generates tax revenue through increased commerce at every level. If business is not confident in future growth, it does not invest in people and the tools to produce. If banks are not confident in business markets to grow, they will not lend. It is the single most important ingredient in a vibrant economy.

Let’s examine what happened to confidence. That too is simple: government actions that defied logic, ignored public opinion, exhibited abject arrogance and flagrantly ignored warning signs. The predictability of government to make decisions that reflect the public’s wishes, and its reaction to issues in a logical way, drive confidence that the future will be business- and market-friendly.

Government actions like passing the bailout, stimulus spending and healthcare bills, all done in defiance of the public’s will and passed without our representatives even having read the bills, only serve to destroy confidence in our future direction.

What can we do to restore confidence? Change the players at all levels of government! The ones we now have will not suddenly be imbued with common sense and better judgment; nor will they abandon self-interest in favor of a calling to public service.

Bruce Gardner


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