It's the morning after Election Day 2012 and I am feeling numb.
Over the past four years, nearly three of which occurred after my layoff from a good job with a good company, I came to believe that the policies of the Obama administration were antithetical to a robust economic recovery after a deep recession. Instead of cutting tax rates, spending and regulations, the way Ronald Reagan did to stimulate a booming economic recovery nearly 30 years ago, President Obama did the opposite.
The results have been dismal: several years of chronically high unemployment, especially for young people, baby boomers and minorities.
And for this performance, yesterday a majority of American voters rewarded President Obama with a second term. I don't know why, but there will be plenty of time to analyze it.
I worry about all the young people who, despite fresh college and graduate degrees, are finding it difficult to launch their careers because the jobs just aren't there.
I worry about older Americans, the baby boomers who, like me, with wonderful educations, skills and experience, were downsized out of our careers and now find ourselves largely unwanted in a shrunken economy, with spent savings and hopes for retirement dashed.
I worry about the millions and millions of Americans subsisting on food stamps and other forms of government support. How can we lift ourselves up and achieve the American dream if the means by which that has always been achieved -- hard work, good jobs, small business or corporate world success -- is becoming more elusive every day?
Although I'm feeling pretty low on hope right now, I'm an optimist at heart and I will bounce back once I've recovered from the blow of these election results. When that happens, there are a few things I'll have the audacity to hope for in a second Obama term.
1. I hope that President Obama recognizes that about 56 million Americans voted against another four years of his policies. That's a lot of people who are unhappy with things as they are. His slim margin of popular votes is by no means a mandate for four more years of the same. I hope that he will take this to heart and consider making some changes.
2. I would like him to reflect on the real economic misery that's afflicting many millions of real Americans and try ways that he hasn't already tried to solve these problems. Since his haven't helped much, I would like him to be open to implementing economic ideas different from his.
3. I would like him to take new economic advice from people who are not simply "yes" men or women for his ideology. Maybe, if he would at least experiment with some Reaganesque policies, who knows? Our economy might just surprise him and respond.
A fresh start, a new beginning, might be good for both him and our country.
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