With Obama's election, how do you feel about the next four years?

John G. Swanson
November 5, 2008
THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

Survey Results for 11/05/2008:

With Obama's election, how do you feel about the next four years?

More optimistic

  

 

48.78%

 

Less optimistic

  

 

45.05%

 

About the same

  

 

6.17%

Our audience appears to be much like the nation as a whole. Our post-election poll saw an extremely strong turnout with 860 votes cast. The vote was also fairly evenly divided. Whether or not the majority of our readers were Obama voters, a majority of those responding indicated more optimism following his election. A nearly-as-large group indicated they were less optimistic as a result.

Given the importance of Obama's victory last week, and what it means for our country, it's not too surprising that we got numerous responses from readers. And it's clear we've heard from both those who voted for Obama and those who didn't. Most preferred that I not use their names with comments, noting that their personal opinions didn't necessarily reflect those of their companies. Here is a sampling:

"Unfortunately he has a hidden agenda that is not in anyone’s best interest," suggested a purchasing manager with one window and door manufacturer. "All industry should go into survival mode and get ready to be hit with increased fuel surcharges and taxes which will increase unemployment rates. Not to fear as he has assured that he will take care of us all." 

"I am extremely optimistic. Barack Obama is best for our country and the world," said a vice president of marketing for an industry supplier. "I am hopeful that the xenophobic attitudes that have plagued and deteriorated our country’s leadership position in the world will begin to subside and we can get this globe back on track with decency, honor, and financial stability. My hope is that all of us will start caring about what is better for the whole rather than self."

"A government now truly controlled by a Democratic rule," wrote another manufacturer, "ends any chance of a ‘check and balance’ for legislation. This along with the strong possibility of three Supreme Court appointments will make liberal politics stronger for many terms of office in the White House. Where is all the money coming from to support their tremendous appetite for social programs and spending?"

"In this kind of weak economy we are in now, any kind of tax increase will continue to drive us into a deeper recission. History has proven you cannot tax us into prosperity," wrote Alan Peterson, a manufacturer's agent. "FDR tried it in the early '30s, and it took WWII to get us out of a depression. When Clinton came into office, our economy was strong and so he increased taxes to pay off the national debt. However, once that was accomplished he should have cut taxes. He did not as a result he left office with a weaker economy. And it took Bush to cut taxes. If it wasn’t for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars we would be in great financial shape, even with the debacle with Fannie & Freddie."

"While overall our industry is not thrilled with Obama’s victory, there are reasons to be hopeful," notes a marketing and PR professional who works in our industry. "Already the outpouring of goodwill from abroad appears historic. Even Iran has chimed in with optimism over our new President. These positive sentiments could mean a more effective foreign policy for far less money due to improved working relationships. That money could, in turn, be spent on reviving the housing market and related initiatives. There’s also been talk of tax-free retirement account withdrawals which could help homeowners keep their homes and help restore foreclosure-affected housing. Just two quick ways in which Obama’s presidency could improve our industry’s outlook."

Jose Santini, writing from Puerto Rico, was more circumspect, suggesting he feels about the same following the election as he did beforehand.  He suggests the economy, energy indepence and Iraq are all huge priorities that need to be addressed, but suggests that the economy may represent the biggest challenge. "There's hardly any lift left in our economy, and we have nobody to blame but ourselves. So I think it is safe to assume that we will have to pitch in big time."

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