Two examples from this week of the brave new world we live in:
1. A friend of mine here in Israel is looking to buy a new car. He told me "the best alternatives for me are a Crysler or a GM, but I'm not willing to buy either. Who knows if there will be parts or service for them in the future?"
2. My brother is a manager at a company selling medical software in the US (www.surgimate.com). The talk in his market is dominated by one question: "what products will meet the criteria for the Obama Administration's $19 billion e-medical records initiative?" Or in other words how do you get a slice of the $19 billion pie.
The control that the US Government now exerts over the economy is palpable. Not only in the pages of the financial press, but in the everyday decisions of consumers and managers.
But here's the rub.
The reason that the United States has been the engine of growth for the world economy over the last 60 years is that they have been the most entrepeneurial, most creative and most market driven of the large world economies. But when vast parts of the world economy makes decisions based not on whether a product is good or bad, or whether there is real demand for a product or service, but based on what a bureaucrat, howefver skilled, decides, then markets are warped. The tangled net now being cast by Washington over business is about to cramp the very entrepeneurial spirit which is the only way out of this economic mess for the US and the world.