2012 will be the 11th time in my short life that I will be able to participate in the choosing of a president of the United States. While it may just be me, it seems like each and every election is cast as the most important election of our time and a defining moment for the American Experiment. The future of the Republic was being weighed in the balance, and only the proper outcome (which would of course be the election of the candidate you supported) would assure its survival. This week we will continue our meditations on the economic choices that confront the world, this time focusing on the US.
We will start with a thought experiment, in which I invite you to think about alternate histories. Just how important are presidents (or leaders in general) to the success or failure of the economy? And then how critical is the coming election this fall? We will assault a few of our most cherished beliefs, both from the left and from the right. If I do not offend you in the first few pages, I invite you to keep reading; I will get to you somewhere.