Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mr. Obama’s quiet social revolution

Make no mistake about it, Obama’s speech last night represents the start of a quiet social revolution. His plan as outlined last night sets the US on a path to social transformation never seen before in the US history.
His plans for energy, healthcare and education are ambitious. What strikes me is not what he wants to do, but how little he bothers to tell us how he is going to pay for what he intends to do. We will most likely find out when the budget comes out, but it surely sounds like a massive financial re-organization, taking money from current projects and redistributing it to the new and ambitious plans. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that what he wants to do doesn’t sound good because it does. It’s how he goes about doing it that doesn’t sounds right..
I guess Mr. Obama is taking Rahm Emanuel’s saying that you don’t ever let a major crisis go to waste to an extreme. So Mr. Obama is using the current major crisis to implement and pass through one of the most radical social reforms in history. The problem I see there is that the way he wants to it defies common sense. It is not natural. Taking money from one place and putting it in another place is not just a simple action of moving line items around in a budget. That action means disruption and disruption means pain.
Unlike Bill Clinton and Al Gore who first worked on creating wealth, Mr. Obama’s first mission is to re-distribute the current money. That is not common sense. If he is smart, if he is powerful, if he represents ‘change’, he first needs to focus on creating NEW wealth. Only after you make the money you think about how to spend the money..that IS common sense, that is the natural way of doing things.But if Mr. Obama is concerned at all with creating wealth remains to be seen. For now, he continues to attack Wall Street. Like it or not, with good and with bad, Wall Street is the MAJOR engine for wealth creation in the US and Mr. Obama must stop the attacks and start working with Wall Street as soon as possible. Otherwise, Mr. Obama’s quiet revolution will be painful. Quite painful.

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