Tuesday, October 30, 2012

what effect does the president have on the economy?

i feel like it's the biggest buzzword of this presidential election:

and with a country $16 trillion in debt, that's understandable.

so this podcast via freakonomics caught my eye:
it's only 5 minutes long, if you want to give it a listen.

here are a couple key points they focus on:
1. the president's ability to control the economy is actually very limited
2. being a successful CEO is "enormously different" than handling political finances

the comment feed on the podcast actually made for some interesting reading from people who both agreed and disagreed with those points...and a quality, coherent comment feed is surprisingly hard to come by, isn't it?

i want to know your thoughts:

what effect does the president REALLY have on the economy?

teach me how to dougie economize,


Anonymous said...

Obama has won, get your game face on.

Joe said...


katilda said...

Well that's all very inspiring....and anonymous...but not exactly what I was looking for. Thoughts on the economy would be appreciated?

~Matt said...

I honestly don't have a good feel for the active roll that the Executive Branch plays in the economy. When I get out of class this evening, I'll have a listen to the podcast, because I would be interested in hearing those thoughts.
One thing I do feel confident in saying is that the president, in one sense, is very much the figurehead for the United States. The economy is more than a theater show, but there is an element of appearances in it. When the PotUS exudes confidence and enthusiasm for the domestic economy, decision-makers the world around will respond. That can be pretty important, from what I understand.

Anonymous said...

I'm not well versed in politics on any level, but from what I understand, Romney was influential in turning around the economy of Massachusetts as governor. I'm not sure how much power the president really has over the national economy, but if it's any at all, I'd rather see what a guy who does have (successful) experience in both business and political finance would do with that power than give a second chance to a guy who accomplished nothing politically before being elected president and then used his first term to multiply our national debt. But again, I'm not an expert.

Kate said...

Hey Katie! I've been thinking about this question because I think it's very important. Here's what I've come up with...

I think it is wrong to say that the president is ENTIRELY responsible for the economy, although he does play a part. (I'm talking about presidents in general here, not specifically the current one.)

The president is not responsible for the way Americans spend their private funds. He doesn't decide how much debt we get into, or what kind of mortgage to obtain. He doesn't make our individual decisions, so I think it's wrong to blame our mistakes on him.

However, the president's policies can and do factor into the economy on a bigger scale... For example, the lack of a budget and overspending in the government are both the president's and congress' responsibility. If the president signs certain laws into action that overspend tax money, well, then we can blame him (or, ourselves for electing him). Also, with the president's policies, he can set the tone for job growth in the nation. For example, if businesses are over-taxed, then they will be unable to hire more employees, creating less jobs for the American people. Such is the case with my brother-in-law. He has many taxes to pay (including a franchise tax because he owns two clinics) and is unable to expand his business further because taxes take too much of his revenue. If he were taxed less, he for sure would think about opening a third clinic and hiring more physical therapists, creating new jobs. So, yes, in a way, both the president and congress are responsible for some economic growth or problems.

I hope that makes sense :)