Political Implications of the Economy’s Structural Change

Gallup has just released the results of a survey showing that of the people they interviewed last week, they encountered “the highest spontaneous mention of jobs as the nation’s top problem in over 10 years.”

The article makes the extremely interesting suggestion that the November election may become a referendum on how well the Bush administration is seen to be dealing with the fundamental structural changes affecting the US economy right now:

During the last half of 2003, the U.S. economy enjoyed a very strong recovery, with economic growth averaging 6% and the stock market surging past the 10,000 mark. Conventional wisdom suggests that this kind of strong economic performance, combined with economists’ forecasts that the economy will continue its expansion in 2004, would remove the economy as an issue in the presidential election.

Instead, it appears that the unusual nature of the current economic expansion may itself become a major political issue.

Right now, it appears that the Bush administration’s economic policymakers are simply hoping that continued economic growth will eventually produce significant new job creation. Is this “laissez faire” approach the best way to deal with the structural economic changes tak]ing place in the U.S. economy and the job market? Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan and many others argue that it is. If current economic trends continue, however, this November may end up being a test of whether the voting public agrees.

If so, then that may bode well for the Democrats…