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« Weighing the Week Ahead: Perception versus Objectivity | Main | The Investor Sentiment Cycle: An Interesting Survey from Charles Kirk »

September 15, 2010



John -- You raise deep questions that defy a brief answer. While it is correct that the Founding Fathers sought to balance power in various ways, I don't think you'll find gridlock in the Federalist papers!

Despite the Democratic majorities in Congress, the legislation passed includes many GOP ideas. The 60-vote Senate hurdle is partly responsible.

To summarize, I distinguish between gridlock and compromise. I also reject the popular notion that we should just hope for government inaction.

You have helped to sharpen the positions, whether we agree or not!

Thanks for commenting.



John -- I very much appreciate your viewpoint and the fact that you took the time to comment.

It encourages me to keep doing what I do.




jdb -- It is an important concern, shared by anyone who is looking at the data. I have been discussing long-term obligations with young people for years.

My own viewpoint is that it is a problem that is best solved in the context of economic growth. First things first. I wrote about the topic here:

Thanks for a great question!




"None of the problems we face can be solved by inaction. None of the policies already passed can be reversed or repealed by a split government.

What is needed is bipartisan cooperation, negotiation, and compromise."

The United States government was originally designed, as reflected in the Constitution, so that gridlock is a NORMAL and NATURAL state of affairs in order to LIMIT the power and scope of government. This is so we do not have tyranny by the majority on the minority nor tyranny by the minority on the majority. The goal was to assure that the only actions government takes are on the most important issues upon which the vast majority agrees while the minority is still protected.

Gridlock does NOT mean that nothing gets done. Gridlock means the only things that get done are the result of "bipartisan cooperation, negotiation, and compromise". To not have a split government means partisan actions, no thoughtful exploration of issues that include thorough understanding of consequences, and no compromise.

The problem is not that we have gridlock today or might in the future, but that we did not have gridlock in the past.

John the Cheap

Let me weigh in as one who does NOT demand or expect any immediate actionable advice in a blog post. I greatly appreciate your measured approach.



I would very much like your opinion on a macro issue. It's the debt or the continuing accumulation of it without sign of resolution or compromise as you mention. If the Republicans, especially the Tea Party variety, gain more representative power in the Congress, it's seems hard to see how there's much hope for resolution during the rest of this term. Yet, the debt continues to accumulate. I think that some resolution would remove a major cloud over the economy and market. How much can we afford to accumulate before a kind of tipping point is reached? Or just before the various debt players get real nervous?


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