Obamanomics: An introduction

John Steele Gordon is the prominent financial historian and author of An Empire of Wealth. In “The economic contradictions of Obama-ism” — a preview from the forthcoming issue of Commentary — he concisely explains how Obama administration policies will retard economic growth. Gordon’s introductory discussion of Elkhart, Indiana is worth reading all by itself.

The title of Gordon’s essay alludes to Marx’s thesis regarding the internal contradictions of capitalism. Marx predicted that the internal contradictions of capitalism would lead to its collapse. The economic contradictions to which the title of Gordon’s essay refers aren’t exactly contradictions. They’re features. But they may in fact nevertheless lead to the collapse of Obama-ism.

Marx has not exactly proved a sage prophet, but his terminology has triumphed. He succeeded in giving capitalism its name. Far preferable is Adam Smith’s designation of free enterprise as “the system of natural liberty.”

Brian Wesbury and Robert Stein have the necessary companion piece to Gordon’s essay. Wesbury and Stein warn that the most prominent economic problem of the not too distant future is likely to be inflation.

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