A Nebraska economist is glad to hear President Barack Obama re-focus on the economy, but would like to see a little more from the president.
Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss listened to President Obama’s recent speeches on improving the economy.
“He believes in intervention, meaning the government knows best, the government can steer this economic ship and I’m a non-interventionist, believing it’s not the government’s job to target winners and losers,” Goss tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Goss says Nebraska has been able to escape the economic problems plaguing the rest of the country, because it has a good distribution of industries and it focuses on agriculture and foreign trade. Also, the housing and banking industries in Nebraska never hit the rough patches that they did in other areas of the country.
Goss says uncertainty remains a problem, holding down efforts to fully emerge from the recession. A big source of uncertainty for business, according to Goss, is the federal health care law. Goss says businesses remain worried about health care regulations that kick in once they hire their 50th worker.
“Microsoft, for goodness sakes, had 49 employees at one time,” Goss says. “So, you have businesses that are growing that are going to be attempting to avoid going to that 50th employee, because they will then have to provide health insurance for those employees.”
Goss says the president could help boost the economy by reaching agreement on trade packs with more countries. He says trade is a key to economic growth.
Also, who the president chooses to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve will have a huge impact on the economy, according to Goss. Goss points out mortgage interest rates jumped eight-tenths of one percent after only a few comments from Bernanke.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]