There actually isn’t such a thing as “Obamanomics” because economics isn’t something that Obama cares that much about. The only economy-related issue he feels strongly about is the need to increase taxes on the rich. As I wrote in the previous post, it was a major point of his campaign, and it didn’t dissuade rich people from voting for him, and it’s not something that he has forgotten about or given up on. Obama should be credited for sticking to his platform.
On other economic issues, he’s happy to delegate to his advisers, and it seems to be the only area of his administration in which the advisers are disproportionately heterosexual white men. It’s rather interesting that for the Supreme Court, a wise Latina and a lesbian, but for his economic advisers it’s white men like Alan Krueger and Timothy Geithner.
The result is that Obama’s administration has not been as leftist as leftists had hoped or conservatives had feared. Obama’s advisers buy into the conventional Keynesian notion that proper government action can stimulate us out of the economic doldrums. Republicans are also Keynesians, the primary difference is that Obama wants to stimulate the economy by paying for environmental initiatives while Republicans want to stimulate the economy by cutting rich people’s taxes.
Certainly neither party has any of the bold and original ideas you’d find at my blog, such as lowering unemployment with a moratorium on immigration (immigration adds new workers to an economy that already has more people who want to work than there are jobs available), reducing the workweek (if 10% are unemployed, then reducing the number of hours in the workweek by 10% should create a demand for 10% more jobs, right?) or paying people to play World of Warcraft.
For those who don’t get my sense of humor, the WoW suggestion is partly tongue-in-cheek. Partly. There’s a belief some have that people aren’t entitled to any money unless they work for it, but technology, automation, and outsourcing mean that we don’t need any more workers. Paying people to play WoW is probably better than paying them to build solar cells that no one wants and that the Chinese can manufacture for a fraction of the price.