The economy: Why there’s no recovery

The nation's pessimistic mood is one of the reasons for the country's economic stagnation.

What’s keeping the economy from bouncing back from the recession? asked Mort Zuckerman in the Financial Times. Just ask the people who run companies and hire workers. They’ll tell you they’re unnerved by President Obama’s “anti-business policies,” and populist attacks on “fat cats.’’ With consumer demand flatlining and unemployment stuck at 9 percent, companies urgently need to ramp up hiring and spending if we’re going to escape a double-dip recession. But instead of helping job creators, Obama keeps hitting them with “new regulations, health-care costs, and an increased bureaucracy.” This regulatory overload deters companies and investors from taking risks on “expansions and startups.” No wonder a Gallup poll found that only 26 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s handling of the economy.

It’s ridiculous to accuse Obama of being anti-business, said Michael Schuman in This is the president who saved Wall Street and the American auto industry from collapse, and is now pushing Congress to slash the corporate payroll tax. He did increase regulation of the financial industry, but only to prevent the wild, dangerous speculation that “created the Great Recession in the first place.” Conservative attacks on Obama’s economic policies are based on “pure fantasy,” said Paul Krugman in The New York Times. Surveys of business owners have named regulation and taxes as top concerns for 40 years, regardless of who was president. Right now, those same surveys find that businesses aren’t expanding and hiring for a very simple reason: Sales are weak. The bursting of the mortgage bubble and subsequent recession have left many Americans in deep debt, so they’re spending less. That—and not Obama—is why the recovery is lagging.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us