Saturday, February 7, 2009

Most of the People only Some of the Time

My father was fond of saying that you can please a few people all the time, and some people some of the time and none of the people all of the time. This week has certainly brought home that to President Obama and the American People.

I have been following as best I can the criticisms of the Economic Stimulus package as it makes its way through the shark infested pools that are the United States Senate. Clearly everyone has a different idea as to what stimulus is and how to create it.

An economist friend of mine once said you could put three economists in a room and come up with no fewer than five opinions on anyone economic issue. I really see that now.

I am not an economist by any means but I am a broke American trying to hold on in stormy seas and the best solution I heard to this whole mess was to not put it all in one package but divide it into three or four parts. Still I can see that with the direness of the consequences in the world economy that the desire to do it all at once seemed imperative.

With the Senate moving toward a workable compromise our new President may get what he has asked for. He seems more than willing to work with everyone but I was pleased when he told the Republicans, "you caused this mess why can't you help fix it" or words to that effect. I doubt we will know really what works and what does not for a decade. We have not been here before. When the Great Depression happened the world was more separate; not so globally linked. I am sure that historians and economists will be debating this for the better part of the century. Let's hope that we at least learn something this time.

I've learned we should not have let GW Bush have his TARP funds. They have been misspent with no limitations and in some cases drastic over-payment resulting in no stimulus to the economy. I am sure we will be debating that for several decades too. GW was obviously trying to please just a few people all the time - like already rich CEO's and business owners.

I have my fingers crossed that this will work. That pleasing most of the people some of the time is all we need to do to get the ball rolling again. I do know it is democracy as it is suppose to work. GW, I think history will find, ran a dictatorship.