There are many ways to measure economic health. You can look at industrial output, the rate of inflation and consumption, consumer confidence, interest rates, economic growth, and stock market price. You can also look at market capitalization, i.e., the amount of dough that’s represented by all those outstanding shares. On the principle that a picture is worth a thousand words, I would like to share with readers this little chart a friend sent me which gives an historical snapshot of the market capitalization of the United States Equity Markets since the early 1960s.
You look at this chart and then you ask yourself, What would you do to encourage those lines to start moving back upward? How would you nudge people to start investing in the market again? Would you promise to raise taxes for people best able to invest in the market and in businesses? Obama is doing just that. Would you threaten to “bankrupt” the coal industry by onerous cap-and-trade policies that impose productivity-killing regulations on U.S. industry? Obama is doing that, too. Would you promise to raise capital gains taxes, thus snatching back yet more money that would otherwise be available for investment in the United States? Obama got there before you on that as well. Would you further discourage individuals from giving to charity by cutting the amount they can deduct from their taxes, in effect making their donations twenty-percent more expensive? Once again, Obama is ahead of the pack.
Look at that chart. Then look at the spread-the-wealth-around policies of the Obama administration. What do you think?