At the 11th hour, or beyond, President Obama has pulled his head wearily from the sand, blinked around, and removed one heavy millstone from around his neck. Lawrence Summers, surely one of the worst ever economic advisers to any President, has been discarded as from November 2010.
The liberal wing of the Democratic Party, inevitably, is confused. For them, Lawrence (we’ve -gotta- pick- a- pocket -or -two- boys) Summers is insufficiently far to the left. After all he is not a card-carrying member of the Communist Party. Being a throw-back 1960s hydraulic Keynesian and a progressive liberal is insufficient for those who want to destroy all remnants of the capitalist system.
It is interesting that when socialist policies fail – as they inevitably do- their proponents always fail to draw the relevant lesson. They instinctively believe that the policies fail because they are insufficiently far to the left. That is a fortunate reaction for those who believe in individual liberty and private property, because it consigns such failed policies to lengthy periods in the political wilderness.
At this point in time, of course, we cannot be sure that the desert sand is entirely out of President Obama’s eyes. We shall know shortly whether he was blind but now can see, or whether he is afflicted with some form of mascular degeneration. His choice of successor will tell us everything.
Should President Obama chose a successor from the ranks of the yet further left – for example Paul Krugman or Joseph Stiglitz – who are baying for yet more Keynesian fiscal stimuli and for yet more nationalization within the financial sector – then we shall know for sure that he is incapable of improving his sorry position.
If President Obama elects to hire a business leader from a successful corporation, demonstrably capable of thriving in a competitive free market environment – not from some failed financial institution like Bank of America, Citigroup, or Goldman Sachs that is propped up by government subsidies – then we should breathe a collective sigh of relief that a Manchurian Candidate has not somehow infiltrated his way into the highest office in the United States.
Good riddance to Lawrence Summers. Good riddance to the hydraulic Keynesian doctrine that is miring the United States economy in stagnation, and that threatens future stagflation. Now just bring back Paul Volcker to chair the Federal Reserve Board, replace Timothy Geithner at Treasury, and once again it may be Morning in America.