High Hopes

If you don’t know the song, you miss the inherent sarcasm/optimism in that title.

On a personal note, I may be done with the dole. 19 months and counting. If this works, more later. If not, more blues.

On two political issues, much hope and anticipation. Political one is health care reform. It appears the Wall approaches, and it’s gonna be close. What amazes me is the number of democratic congresscritters who are planning to vote against it. Kristol was right back in 1994 — if health care passes, it gives the passing party 2 to 5 percentage points in elections. I never really understood why the Republicans didn’t steal the issue instead of fighting the Dems, but they did. That in turn makes the political effect of passage even more extreme.

All things considered, I think it’ll pass, but it’s so close I would no more bet on it than I’d bet on a coin toss.

The other political issue is the economy. It’s recovering. Even better, it appears to me to be getting past the doldrums.

Now the Big Bad to this is that unemployment won’t recover as fast. There are several reasons, but I’ve got a hobby horse on this that will get a longer post. For now, let me shortcut it by saying it’s because we’re in transition from a demand economy to a supply economy. No, not demand/supply SIDE. If you want to get ahead of the curve, look up “politics of plenty”. “Productivity ratchet” may get you a bit as well.

With that exception, however, we appear to be well above the 3% GDP increase line that (to me) separates doldrums from growth. Oh, yes, the 4Q report is out of whack — something odd lies behind that OVER 5%?. sigh. We’ll see something low this quarter in balance. Still, I think we’re well above the 3% line that seems to be necessary for growth. There are risks; opportunities for things to kick us again. But, well, I’m optimistic.

Maybe I’ll move that sycamore tree after all.


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