Monday, 14 January 2008

Economics and US Presidential Candidates

As the US enters recession, I believe it has already, and I would be substantiating it in my subsequent posts, and as the US elections campaigning is charging up, I see a contrasting difference between how elections are fought in India and in US. Though as US is a developed country the political parties never have roti, kapda or makaan on their agenda. Surely, they do not have to promise such basic necessities to their citizens.
In India, elections are mostly fought luring voters by giving them liquor, money or increasing quotas to gain minority vote banks. You see different shades in different region in India. In recent past, you get to hear 'India shining' as the buzz word. Infrastructure Development is the fresh dish on the menu in Indian political scenario. Increased corporate support, encouraging entrepreneurs, favorable policies can be seen as trump cards now. With elections coming in 2009, surely all parties are gearing up.
On the contrary, in US you can see candidates promising high speed internets, cut in power bills and heat bills or even support to families that are finding difficult to pay their obligations.

I read an article which asked the candidates about their understanding of ‘Economics’. It’s a surprise that they are so blind about the issue. This is because Americans focus more on trying to divine the candidates’ characters by scrutinizing their tone of voice and facial expressions. Let’s see what some of the candidates feel about their economic policy.

John McCain admitts that economics isn’t his thing. “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should,” he says. “I’ve got Greenspan’s book.”
Alan Greenspan is the same person who refused to regulate the subprime lending.

Rudy Giuliani's answer to the economy’s short-run problems is a huge permanent tax cut, which he claims would pay for itself. Surely, he wants the entire American to get broke.

Mike Huckabee — well, what can you say about a candidate who talks populist while proposing to raise taxes on the middle class and cut them for the rich?

According to Mitt Romney, Republican, low taxes and a pro-business environment is what he feels would solve the problem. Safe bet isn’t that. But in the long run US economy would never be able to recover if his proposals are accepted.

John Edwards, Democratic Party, proposed aid to unemployed workers, aid to cash-strapped state and local governments, public investment in alternative energy, and other measures.

Hillary Clinton offered a broadly similar but somewhat larger proposal.

Mr. Obama seems to be very confused. Initially proposing for tax cut, as a measure for recession then came out with offerings similar to that of democrats.

Its fun to know what the “going to be president” of largest economy feels about economy. It would have been a better article if I would have discussed about their tone, facial expressions, their hair style or clothes.

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