John Stossel at RCP asks “Where are the new jobs?” After an analysis that’s not bad for a journalist, he concludes that the problem is uncertainty:
In at least three big areas — health insurance, financial regulation and taxes — no one can know what will happen. […] Nothing more effectively freezes business in place than what economist and historian Robert Higgs calls “regime uncertainty.”
Rubbish, John. Oh, the details haven’t emerged yet. What is absolutely certain, and clear to everybody, is that the bureaucrats are poised, ready to pounce. We don’t know exactly what they will do — and neither do they, because they’re waiting to react. From their point of view, business (and the economy in general) has to make the first moves, whereupon they will leap into the breach, propounding rules and regulations that will squash the slightest hint of a recovery.
The broad outlines are visible to everyone:
–There will be NO ENERGY. “Coal makes us sick”. Energy production releases [horrified sepulchral tones, with reverb] CARBON DIOXIDE, unless it is nucOMIGODGLOW-IN-THE-DARKBABIESWHATCANYOUPOSSIBLYBETHINKINGOF??!!!???
–There will be NO CAPITAL INVESTMENT. If you have the scratch to make a capital investment, clearly you are an eeeevulgreedycapitalist, withholding valuable assets that could be used to Feed the Children; those resources will be taken for just that purpose, plus a penalty for your eeeeevul.
–There will be NO TRANSPORTATION. Transportation burns OIL, which releases [horrified sepulchral tones, with reverb] CARBON DIOXIDE!!! (Limited deliveries of arugula and Kobe beef to the DC area and a few other enclaves will take place from 0200-0400hrs, and the shippers must prove that they aren’t making any money to participate. Once the USDOT takes over managing the program that won’t be a problem, of course.)
–Productive workers MAY NOT BE HIRED. You may, naturally, fill all the “social justice” positions you care to; such people must be from a defined minority or victim group, and their involvement is limited to receiving a paycheck unless they decide to show up and brag. Any slightest whisper of a hint that such people might actually do something is exploitation, and will be met with the severest possible penalties.
–Your state MUST VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS. The existence of a Republican Congresscritter in any district is conclusive evidence that you have scamped your duties to the Party of the People, and that is unforgivable; you get nothing, and anything you have is subject to confiscation without notice.
–You MUST PAY TRIBUTE to any alphabet-soup dependent of the Party of the People who stops by; compelling them to actually ask is unDemocratic, so just start forking over, bub. How much is enough? What is this strange concept, “enough”? It only applies to you — you have enough money. Gimme some.
The only “uncertainty” involved is the implementation details.