The Economist posted an ominous warning to President Obama today stating that Obama’s perceived hostility to businesses is scaring off investors.
A Bloomberg survey this week found that three-quarters of American investors believe he is against business. The bedrock of the tea-party movement is angry small-business owners. The Economist has lost count of the number of prominent chief executives, many of them Democrats, who complain privately that the president does not understand their trade—that he treats them merely as adornments at photocalls and uses teleprompters to talk to them; that he shows scant interest in their views on which tax cuts would persuade them to hire people; that his team is woefully short of anyone who has had to meet a payroll (there are fewer businesspeople in this White House than in any recent administration); and that regulatory uncertainty is hampering their willingness to invest.
Quite a passionate article, if you ask me. The Economist does point out the fact that the Chief of State needs to be kinder to the hand that feeds him, but I can’t shake the fact that businesses do indeed exploit workers. Which is why this move to intimidate businesses seems calculated. Right now, it just seems that Obama is smacking the stubborn mule that refuses to move forward; i.e. stubborn businesses that refuse to move toward social progress such as universal health care. The mule might think its master is being mean and cruel, but perhaps the master knows what’s best for it on the long run. Only time will tell.
The least Obama could do for now is to ease up on his rhetoric. Then again, politics isn’t effective unless someone is make the zeitgeist, right? Hardball or not, Obama is living up to his Change platform… even if he has to drag American businesses all the way there.