Friday, February 20, 2009

One Month of Obama - A Status Report

On the evening of November 4, 2008, I updated my Facebook status with this statement:

En memorium: Free speech, Free-market Capitalism, hope, wealth, and prosperity. You will be missed.


This was met with a number of comments from my more liberal Facebook friends. The best liberal comment was, "Hope? Really? Come on..."

And I found it laughable that out of the list five "Hope" was the one the Obama supporter was most skeptical of losing.

So I figured we could look through this list and see how many of them the Obama administration has succeeded in weakening and analyze what trajectory we are on for the ones the administration has yet to reach.


Free Speech

The so-called "fairness doctrine" has found new traction since the election of President Barack Obama by members of the senate and former President Bill Clinton. The Obama administration has voiced its opposition to the "fairness doctrine," but one can only hope this position is not as circumstantial as other promises the administration has made.

Status: Secure (for now)


Free-market Capitalism


Capitalism has taken a beating over the last several months as the scapegoat to failed liberal policies, especially of the Community Reinvestment Act, which "encouraged" investment firms to lend to low-income families. It "encouraged" them in the same way the government "encourages" you to pay your taxes; the banks had little choice but to comply. When it turned out these low-income families couldn't afford to pay back their debts causing a near collapse of the banking industry which dominoed into the rest of the economy, capitalism took the blame.

In order to correct these perceived failures of capitalism, the Obama administration rushed a pork-laden $790 billion stimulus bill through congress and into law that served effectively as one of the greatest power-grabs by the federal government since the country began. Free-market capitalism was the greatest casualty in this move as companies that were destined to fail were propped up and sectors of the market that previously had few federal regulations now started down the path towards nationalization.

Status: In Critical Condition


Hope

Barack Obama ran an entire presidential campaign on basically two words: hope and change. It makes sense that change was dropped on January 20th because change, but where has hope gone?

"Hope" is no longer in the president's vocabulary. "Hope" and "change" have been transformed into "crisis" and "catastrophe."



Status: Cryogenically Frozen until 2012


Wealth and Prosperity

The Dow Jones has lost almost 1,600 points since the beginning of 2009.



Need I say more?

Status: In hibernation (hopefully)


Conclusion

So where do we stand? Ironically, my liberal friend was most fearful about losing hope, but, as it turns out, it was one of the first things the Obama administration jettisoned when times got tough.

Capitalism continues to gasp for each breath as the newly-elected doctors decide whether or not they will pull the plug.

Free speech has only recently come into the political cross-hairs but may yet be saved.

And perhaps someday in the not-too-distant future the Dow Jones will see the light of 14,000 again. Maybe it will come with the Republican takeover of 2010 or 2012? We will have to wait and see.

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