WSJ: What Yogi Berra can Teach the Winner of Presidential Race


Yogi Berra had it right when he said: “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

Whoever will be U.S. president next year needs to do just that, and make a decision on which way to go. That will go a good way to help the ailing jobs market.

You see the problem with the economy, the most pressing problem of our time, is at least in part due to lack of decisiveness from government itself. That’s according to 2011 research from Stanford University economists Nicholas Bloom and Scott Baker and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business‘s Steve Davis. They point out that uncertainty over which of many strategies the government will pursue is actually making things worse.

They call this “policy uncertainty” and according to the trio, it’s up more three-fold since 2000.

What’s worse, they say the increase in dithering between 2006 and 2011 will cost the U.S. economy 2.5 million jobs. That’s right, the inability of government to make and stick to clear policies will cost 2.5 million jobs.

So what uncertainty could now be resolved to make things better? I see three things:

A resolution of the future of President Obama’s health-care bill. (A Supreme Court ruling here may not be enough to fully solve it.)
A decisive end to the currency crisis in Europe; and
Clarification over what happens with U.S. taxes next year.
To be clear, these things alone won’t fix the jobs problem immediately, but they are an important step in the right direction.

Hopefully, our leaders (and those in Europe) can get their act together before another 2.5 million jobs are lost.

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