The real problem with the economy now is uncertainty.
What’s going to happen to the economy? How will the war affect the economy? How will the war affect advertising? How will the war affect gas prices? How about tech spending? What happens if the war takes an unexpected turn? How much will it cost to put Iraq back together, if we’re given the opportunity? What if there is a major act of terrorism? What the hell is going on with North Korea?
Scott Rosenberg’s “Eve of Destruction” DaveNet essay encapsulated a lot of my concerns. We have no clue what will happen over the next ten days, ten months, or ten years, and GWB is presenting victory as a foregone conclusion. The White House has discussed alternative outcomes internally, but none have been suggested to the citizens. The big lesson of war is that the outcome is usually a surprise. If it weren’t, there’d be fewer and shorter wars. Certainly the last ten years have taught us not to underestimate Saddam Hussein.
Generally, I feel that the president doesn’t have a lot of control over the economy. But GWB has a lot of options for reducing the amount uncertainty in the world. For some time he has been increasing the amount of uncertainty. In such an uncertain market, what are the odds that you’re going to do any hiring?