The Dilbert poll

Scott Adams, author of the comic strip Dilbert, commissioned a poll of 500 economists to determine which major candidate would be best for the economy. I have some questions and concerns about the results.

The poll results are here. These are the subjects that caught my attention.

Rank Issues Obama McCain No Diff.
3 International trade 26% 51% 23%
4 Energy 61% 22% 17%
5 Encouraging
Technology/innovation
43% 23% 34%

I’m trying to parse these three. Assuming Energy means “independence,” which ties in with ‘Encouraging,’ you could make the case that Obama will try to get more done inside the country, rather than through trade. I guess I don’t understand the 2-1 split on International trade, though. Frankly, I don’t agree with a whole bunch of these conclusions. The last I heard, investment bankers were behind Obama, but given their poor performance of late, maybe that’s a warning?

Education at #1 is surprising for economists, but borne out by the caliber of most of the comments.

Some comments about business owners vs workers are especially lame. The businesses that are ransacking the country are mostly legacy corporations. Exxon/Mobil dates back to Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, formed in 1870. And anyway, it isn’t as if Obama will be nationalizing corporations. Only Bush could get away with that.

That Exxon/Mobil is reporting record profits again, when the country’s on the brink of a depression, is a clear (to me) sign that things are out of whack. When people are too broke to buy gas, that may change, though. I am loving $2.65 gas, because it weakens the case for “Drill baby, drill.”

In a commentary at CNN.com, Adams says:

Moneywise, I can’t support a candidate who promises to tax the bejeezus out of my bracket, give the windfall to a bunch of clowns with a 14 percent approval rating (Congress), and hope they spend it wisely.

Unfortunately, the alternative to the guy who promises to pillage my wallet is a lukewarm cadaver. I’m in trouble either way.

I wasn’t aware that Obama planned to tax the bejeezus out of anyone. Dilbert seemed to flourish during the Clinton Administration. For that matter, so did a lot of other Americans, arguably more then than now. Obama’s proposed changes roll the tax codes back to those days. I’m surprised that someone as cynically savvy as Adams didn’t fact-check that statement. If he really hates the new taxes, though, he can always move to a country with lower taxes, and still work comfortably from home. That’s an option unavailable to 95-percent of Americans, who’ve been stuck here since Bush stole the White House almost eight years ago.

Thanks to RH of Cleveland for pointing me to this poll.

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