Will Barack Obama get re-elected?
In capturing and executing Osama Bin Laden, President Barack Obama displayed strong resolve, tremendous perseverance, and commendable heroism in fighting terrorism and in disproving the Republicans who argued that “terrorists win when Democrats get elected.” His popularity has soared for his decisiveness and follow-through. But, is this feather in the cap enough for him to get re-elected?
In 1991, George H. W. Bush was almost certain to get re-elected after his Gulf War victory, but was instead booted from the office because he put recession on the back burner. Obama is probably one of the few dynamic Presidents America has seen—something that puts him in the league of Kennedy and Carter. And the drive of this success-hungry Ivy Leaguer is blatant in his leadership, diplomacy, and oratory. But when it comes to economics and trade, he is a lawyer at best and a businessman at worst. In his attempts to bring the country out of recession, he appears to have failed. As per the US Department of Labor, the unemployment still hovers around 9.0%. And he continues to commit errors, esp. in dealing with two major nations, namely China and India, and this further threatens the US economy in which debt continues to rise.
Firstly, the US owes tremendous manufacturing-related debt to China. China continues to undervalue its currency, and Obama has been unsuccessful in negotiating a resolution to this effect with the Chinese government. To make matters worse, China has been supportive of Pakistan, with whom US relations need to be revisited after Bin Laden’s discovery, by supplying military technology.
Secondly, the US-Mexico border bill that he signed in order to create more jobs for Americans and to off-load the financial burden of illegal immigrants from Mexico to H1-B work visas has disturbed Indian and Chinese firms. Though the CEOs of IT firms were smart in that they said they’d hike the bills for services rendered with the difference amount of the hike, a reverse brain drain has already begun. While China continues to provide an excellent source of manufacturing and IT talent, India provides not only IT skills but also a good source of entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurs who could have started companies in the US and thus, provided employment have chosen to either return to their home country or to pursue the US only for educational endeavors. These entrepreneurs will now draw the skills from the coveted education system in the US and instead use them back home. This in turn will create employment and develop the economies of their home country, spiking a global competition. First it was China that parted from the US, and India is next. Hopes are that the new ‘Start-up Visa’ could be a savior, but it could be late until it comes into effect.
Obviously, there are many other hurdles to Obama’s successful candidacy, but both off-shoring and outsourcing impact a very wide spectrum of American businesses.