Posted by | August 9, 2010 10:08 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Ezra Klein writes about how business has thrived under President Obama.  Despite this, the anti-Obama rhetoric from The Chamber of Commerce and the Republican Party repeatedly focuses on his anti-business policies.

The reality is that America’s supposedly anti-business president has led an extremely pro-business recovery. The corporate community has recovered first, and best. The populist tone that conservative magazines and business groups decry is partly in reaction to this: as corporate America’s position is getting better and better, the recovery is looking shakier and shakier. Unemployment is high. Housing looks perilously close to a double dip. Job growth is weak. And corporate America, for all its profits, isn’t hiring. The 71,000 jobs the private sector added in July aren’t sufficient to keep up with population growth, much less cut into the ranks of the unemployed.

I think that Obama and Geithner have done a solid job on the economy.  We could use more stimulus but the insufficient stimulus is mostly the fault of the Republicans in the Senate.  The reality is that the recession is so deep that recovery is going to take a long time, even if we get all the policies right.

The rhetoric reflects a political calculation and a shift in the political culture.  The calculation is that the best way to attack Obama is as a socialist (as ridiculous as this claim is).  The shift in the culture is that since Reagan, anything short of complete deregulation is derided as anti-business.  With the most pro-business Supreme Court in history, this trend is only accelerating. One can be pro-business without being pro-laissez faire.  Modern day critics of Obama as anti-business would have us return to the days of Herbert Hoover and J.P. Morgan.  Not good days for the rest of the country.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.