• Another Super Bowl has come and gone.  Congrats to the Steelers for winning, and congrats to the Cardinals for putting on such a terrific back-and-forth contest.  Arguably one of the best Super Bowls I’ve seen in recent history.

    And at this year’s Super Bowl party, I heard plenty of people talking about the economy and the hous­ing markets.  Everyone, it seems, knows the correct way for our government to bail us out (and isn’t quiet about it) and wonders why the powers that be ‘just don’t get it’.

    Guys and gals, the people who spend every waking second of the day studying this stuff don’t have a solid clue as to what to do about it.  I’m not downplaying the economic ideals of the proletariat, but I am asking that all of you respect the interconnected complexity of this crisis we face.  Every potential method of recovery comes with it’s own unique costs and benefits and will be riddled with various political agendas.

    Add on top of that a sense of urgency that must be balanced with ample time to do due diligence.  The upcoming stimulus package is a prime example of just that: we need to get it implemented as fast as possible to prevent more jobs from disappearing and more businesses from failing.  However, if we don’t take the needed time to go through the program line by line, billions of dollars will be lost due to inefficiency, special interest groups, and general corruption.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    One idea that is raising a lot of controversy is the ‘Buy American’ or ‘Hire American’ clauses that are attached to receiving funds from this stimulus.  The idea is great: if we buy from or hire only Ameri­cans, we’ll stimulate our economy faster.  The drawback is that the international community will see it as an act of Protectionism, which does not bode well for trade.  We just got our first earful of angst from the world at the recent Davos International Economic Conference.

    The fact is, big decisions are being made on Capitol Hill that will set the trajectory for the next few years.  Hopefully, our governing body will prove to be patient and prudent enough to actually stimu­late the economy and not just fund a bunch of dead-end special interest groups.

    But only time will tell.

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