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Hope, but Worry Now

12:00 AM, Jun 2, 2012 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
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Move on from the near- to the longer-term, and gloom dissipates, or should. There is reason to believe that once America gets its political house in order, a period of rapid growth will follow. New technologies are bringing down energy costs and reducing reliance on oil imported from volatile and hostile regions. Only the Environmental Protection Agency stands between our consumers and industries and an abundant supply of natural gas and domestic oil, and that agency’s leadership can be directed to the unemployment lines after the election. Venture capital is available and the steady stream of innovations from Silicon Valley and, now, New York City’s lofts, are lowering distribution costs and creating products that will keep cash flowing from consumers’ pockets into the treasuries of hundreds of start-ups. Advances in medical technology are already creating new industries, a process that will accelerate if the Supreme Court removes the impediments embedded in Obamacare. The financial sector is slowly and reluctantly restructuring, thanks to some of the reforms imposed upon it by the president and Democrats in congress, reducing systemic risk. Some certainty regarding taxes, health care costs and regulation will unleash a flood of investments by cash-rich corporations. Rising costs in China and falling costs in America will bring jobs home. IMD, a business school in Switzerland, ranks America second only to Hong Kong in its ability to manage its economic and human resources to increase its prosperity.

No, we are not entering the best of all possible worlds, or even the broad, sunlit uplands that Winston Churchill had in mind for a post-Hitler world. But with a bit of political common sense we can lay to rest the idea that our children will not live as well as we did before the current recession. 

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