Economics and the U.S. presidential candidates

The Lexington columnist in this week’s Economist tries to analyze the two U.S. presidential candidates in terms of their understanding and support for “capitalism and the free-enterprise system”.

I feel uncomfortable with terms such as “capitalism and the free-enterprise system” because I think they are meaningless words used to hide from us the reality of how our economy works.

Our economic organization is one in which governments pass legislation and regulations which work to restrict competition. Subsidies, tariffs, licensing, copyright and patents all work to limit competition and thus to increase profits.

Romney has certainly benefited from this aspect of government activity and as president would support if not expand it. I don’t now how Obama became a part of the one percent but there is no indication he would not continue to support it.

It appears both men are equally strong supporters of our current economic system whatever name one attaches to it.


The strength of the economy

In the lead  to a report on Barack Obama’s speech at the University of Maryland the CBC quotes him as saying the strength of the economy will depend upon how the U.S. deals with its debt.  I couldn’t find any reference to that in the story but  whether or not he said it, I want to disagree.

The strength of the economy depends upon the quantity of goods and services which can be produced and that depends upon such things as the state of agriculture, the resource base and the energy required to extract  those resources.  Money is important because it facilitates the extraction of resources and the exchange of goods and services.

Following is the CBC’s lead in paragraph and here is the link to the actual report

U.S. President Barack Obama says the strength of the economy will depend on how the country deals with its massive $14.3 trillion debt — in remarks after the Senate rejected the Republican’s budget-cutting plan. 11:36 AM ET video

%d bloggers like this: