Here’s another ridiculous article by “economist” Grep Ip, wondering aloud once again why the economy isn’t doing any better. (“Why Aren’t Low Rates Working? Blame Dividends!” WSJ, June 5). Either he’s truly incompetent as an economist not to see the detrimental effects of government policies on businesses and the economy, or he’s playing dumb to give political cover to the Obama Administration by pretending their policies aren’t harmful and looking the other way in his analysis.
Ip writes, “One of the great mysteries of the recovery is why low interest rates have done so little to lift business investment. After all, that is supposed to be one of the ways monetary policy works: A lower cost of capital makes any project more viable. But what if lower interest rates are actually hurting investment by encouraging companies to pay dividends or buyback stock instead?”
This is exactly what is happening — it’s no mystery. But he draws no substantial conclusions. If he would just come down from his ivory tower of what is “supposed to happen” under Keynesian economics, and actually observe what is happening, he might actually learn something. The fact of the matter is, Obama’s policies are destroying our business environment and eliminating the opportunity.
The burden of overregulation, the increases in taxes, the litigation-friendly environment, the overreaching government agencies, Obamacare, unprecedented debt and more — all of these factors cause businesses to essentially pause their business strategy. Who in their right mind really would consider substantial investment in an environment that is hostile to workers, and an economy that is now seeing more businesses close instead of open? The risk is often too great. Sitting it out is a safer bet.
Not only is it not a mystery as to why low interest rates haven’t spurred growth, it’s a no-brainer. To ignore the government’s effect on business and the economy is unprofessional and incompetent. “It’s the government, stupid!”