Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Guilt free about the Market

Some people seem to have guilt feelings about the Wall Street collapse. They want Obama to win but are unnerved by a strange temptation to rejoice in the stock market collapse and may even fear a come-back.

No need to hope feel guilty about the Wall Street collapse helping Obama. The genie is out of bottle on Wall Street and Obama's economic plan is such a workable mix of the old "New" Deal and "New" New Deal to carry the day. A rebound of the stock market won't make those who have already lost 30-40% of their 401Ks feel so good as to reach for the old Republican snake oil.

McCain is apparently having trouble articulating a new economic "reform" proposal. Rumors were it was to be a cut in capital gains taxes. That's wonderful for anyone still sitting on unrealized capital gains. But since most of us have seen our savings vanish in the past year, we won't have much new investment dollars saved to benefit from future capital gains on new investment. The lesson of the past 48 hours is that the only source for new investment is the government in one guise or another..

The genius of FDR was not that he was a genius, it was in the people he picked for advise and in the programs he chose from their advice. It’s may be a lost fact of history, but the man who turned the “new” SEC from a bureaucratic lightweight into the engine of prosperity it became was one of his closest advisors: Wall Street raider and reputed bootlegger Joseph Kennedy. You may remember is sons. Joe K. broke with FDR over WWII and was loathe to take on Hitler, but has head of the SEC, he was brilliant.

In Obama we have a man he is bright enough to pick good advisors and bright enough to choose among the options. He will be nobody’s stooge.

I believe that the obvious practicality of Obama's plan will carry the day. People know we need reinvestment in infrastructure. People will see the common sense ion rewarding companies that invest in US jobs. Cash strapped citizens who need an infusion from their IRA's will may very well see their homes and future's saved by the chance to tap into their retirement accounts without penalty (before retirement age).

Finally, there is one part of the Obama story that I am sure resonates with a majority of Americans: His mother's struggle with the HMO while she was dying of cancer.

McCain's prescription of deregulation to let the free market work its wonders on the health care system, just won't fly. His only answer will be to state that he really means some regulation (like pre-existing conditions). But that's regulation and will defeat his whole proposal. That we need a national system meeting national standards, is the future.

We have seen the future and it is Obama. (We hope.)