As I’ve commented recently, and as we all know, the U.S. economy has many tangible headwinds, including a housing depression and prolonged unemployment at record levels since the Great Depression, just to name two.
But the macro economy is as emotional as it is structural. If we consumers and business managers feel good about things, we go into the marketplace and spend money – sometimes, even money we don’t have. Conversely, if we’re feeling unsettled about our reality, and/or uncertain about our future, we stay home and stop spending.
The reason the U.S. economy is so stubbornly stuck in the doldrums right now is because we have problems with both the structural and the emotional.
We wanted to know how much you thought the impending November presidential election was weighing on consumers and business managers, so last week, in our online poll, we asked this question: “How much do you think the economy is being affected by businesses and consumers waiting to see who the next president is?” Here’s what we learned.
Only 2% think that the upcoming election is not impacting economic activity, while almost one-fourth thinks it’s only being “somewhat” impacted by the presidential unknown. But the big number, 74%, said the economy was being affected, “a lot,” by concern for the outcome of the November 6th decision.
I agree with the majority. I suspect consumers are apprehensive about the election, but I know business managers of every size business are increasing their level of caution regarding future commitments.
On the morning of November 6, 2012, Obamacare won’t matter, Attorney General Holder won’t matter, immigration won’t matter, and for an increasing number of Americans, how much they like President Obama won’t matter. What will matter is the level of concern for personal economic present and foreseeable future.
Based on what they see in the polls, many pundits are predicting this presidential election will be very close. I disagree. In fact, here’s an update on the prediction I made on January 1, 2012 about the presidential election. This is not a partisan opinion, but rather is based on the behavior I’m observing.
Prediction: Romney will win and it won’t be close – the economy isn’t in the doldrums because consumers and business managers are afraid that Mitt Romney will become president.
Write this on a rock...People lie to pollsters, but they don’t lie with their checkbooks.
Jim Blasingame is one of the world's leading experts on small business and entrepreneurship. He is the creator and award-winning host of the nationally syndicated radio program, The Small Business Advocate® Show. In addition to his weekly columns, Jim is the author of two books; Small Business is like a Bunch of Bananas and Three Minutes to Success.