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The Confidence Man

By The Reverend Published: October 25, 2012

Many anti-Obama talking heads have insisted that the reason our economic recovery from the worst financial collapse in 80 years has been slow instead of immediate is because of "confidence."

In this interpretation, it's not because Americans have lost so much of their purchasing and asset power in the historic collapse that's keeping our economy from recovering more quickly. It's not because millions have lost jobs and homes and futures in the Great Bankster Caper of the 00's...and can't stimulate demand....that's keeping our recovery sluggish. It's not that $12.8 trillion in national purchasing power was gutted in the wake of the collapse that's preventing consumers from buying as much stuff as they were during the housing bubble.

Oh no.....it's lack of business confidence that's holding the recovery back. If only the confidence fairy would show up, then business people would rush out and instantly hire new employees and invest in new business expansions.....and then, as the divine hand has dictated, all will be right in the universe of the economy.

As the conservative talking point goes, the reason these makers and shakers don't have enough confidence to hire or expand is.....wait for it.....the uncertainty caused by a Democratic president. From the beginning of the recovery, this theory has been mocked by progressives as "waiting for the confidence fairy to arrive."

And the theory deserves to be mocked for what it is....bullshite.

When there is a dollar of profit to be made, true business people are all over it like white on rice. True businessmen and businesswomen don't check their freaking Dr. Phil Confidence Meters before they leave the house every day. True business folks....not the whiners I've been reading commentary from for the last four years....don't mope around pointing fingers at America's first black president as the reason why the confidence fairies haven't appeared yet. True business people, genuine business people, simply get it done.

Earlier in the year at a private fundraiser, the one where Mitt Romney claimed that 47% of Americans refuse to take personal responsibility for their lives, Mr. Romney went on to make what should have been a huge announcement. What was that announcement? That he, Mitt Romney, was the confidence fairy everyone has been waiting for....

If it looks like I’m going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president’s going to win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends of course which markets you’re talking about, which types of commodities and so forth, but my own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We’ll see capital come back and we’ll see — without actually doing anything — we’ll actually get a boost in the economy.

See how that works? Simply winning the presidency.....and "without doing anything"....the confidence fairy will have arrived and the economy will receive a boost. Should Mr. Romney take the Oval Office, demand for goods and services will still be too weak to warrant new investment or new hiring...but don't worry your little heads about any of that boring old stuff.....the confidence fairy will have finally made an appearance.

Like the great invisible hand of god moving upon the waters, a President Mitt would mark the arrival of the confidence fairy.....and laws of supply and demand be damned......business leaders will immediately have their confidence restored and refreshed, immediately rushing to invest and hire.

This morning, the AB Journal, you know, keeping it fair and balanced, reprinted the editorial of endorsement for Mitt Romney by the Columbus Dispatch. The Dispatch leans to the right, so no surprise really. However, it seems as if Dispatch editorialists also believe in confidence fairy-tales....

His (Romney's) election would be an immediate signal to the private sector that someone who knows what he is doing is managing the nation’s economic policy. The effect on business confidence would be dramatic and immediate, and business confidence is the vital ingredient needed to spur investment and hiring, the two things that the United States so desperately needs.

In an editorial which fails to ever mention the historic nature and gravity of the 2008 Depression....in an editorial which entirely neglects what most economists agree is a lack-of-demand recovery, not lack of supply.....Dispatch writers, and without one whit of demonstrable proof....agree with Mitt Romney, that he IS the confidence fairy made flesh. Mitt, himself, without doing one thing, is the "vital ingredient" that business needs for an immediate and robust recovery.

When "more and deeper tax cuts for the already rich" is all ya' got.....then I suppose curious stories about invisible and non-detectable confidence fairies appearing with a Mitt Romney win might capture the uninformed imagination.

To the rest of us.....it just sounds like crazy talk.


 

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