Obama’s Speech On The Economy

Today, while the focus of the political media will be upon Michael Bloomberg’s introduction of Obama, it is important to note that after the interesting warm up, there was an actual substantive speech delivered afterwards.

You can read the transcript here.

From a policy standpoint I must admit to not being an economist, and getting that blank and confused stair in my eyes whenever someone gets too involved with the terminology and acronyms is a pretty common occurrence.  Despite this, I’ve developed a general conceptualization of the economy, one that believes in the market, and in the concept of competition fueling ingenuity, but one that also believes that unfettered freedom within the market and prime movers of the economy can be disastrous.

This because with fewer regulations, and fewer incentives to follow by the regulations that are in place, ultimately the prime goal of corporations will be to achieve the short term gain, sometimes at unacceptable risk.  Profit motivation will overcome the other necessities required of the market, and we will find ourselves in a situation like the one we are in now where initially only the consumers fail, but ultimately, the corporations begin to fall as well.

Obama largely addresses this in what should be another speech that will confront directly the flawed attack that he’s all style and no substance.  At the heart of the speech is a framework for establishing a more efficient and more effective regulatory structure for the economy that promotes inginuity and growth, but doesn’t do so on the backs of the middle and lower classes.

It is essentially the argument that the market can be a good thing, but only if it is guided in such a fashion that serves all Americans, not just a select few, and he makes this argument with a nuanced approach towards where the government should be an “invisible hand” or more, and where it should sit back and let the market do what it does.

Not bad.

He also takes the initiative to address directly the housing crisis, and puts forth a reasonable and responsible proposal that actually addresses the concerns and woes of those families that are getting hit the hardest by the crunch.

But I’m going to pass on getting too steeped in the wonk talk as I admittedly am not much of an economics wonk.

Politically, outside of Bloomberg’s presence, there’s a few other important things to note, things that I think may resound much more with the Super Delegates than those remaining voters left to go to the polls in their states’ primaries.

Obama really puts the screws to Bush and McCain, delivering a particularly potent jab to the Republican nominee by saying that his answer to the economic crisis is little more than, “watching this crisis unfold.”

After weeks of tit-for-tat politics going on between the Democratic candidates, this is a welcome and refreshing change and one that a few Super Delegates have already called for.

The other notable thing about the speech is that while Bush and McCain make some appearances as villains, Hillary Clinton doesn’t make an appearance at all, neither does her husband.  There are some backhanded references to the nineties, but if it is a criticism towards the Clinton White House, it is subtle and won’t register among voters as being an outright attack in any way.

This, too, is good.  It’s how a frontrunner is supposed to behave, and Hillary Clinton once upon a time, knew this.  Ultimately, we’re going to need to see more of this from Team Obama on other issues as well if he’s to receive the nomination with maximum momentum and credibility among Democrats.

All in all, a pretty good morning for the frontrunner. 

(h/t memeorandum)

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