‘It’s About the Economy, Stupid’

Oct. 2, 2012
Back in 1992, during the Bill Clinton and George Bush presidential election, this slogan was used to put forth the proposition that all elections are about the economy.

Back in 1992, during the Bill Clinton and George Bush presidential election, this slogan was used to put forth the proposition that all elections are about the economy. Anyone who thought otherwise was “stupid.” With the Obama-Romney election just a month away, the campaigns seem to skirt this issue, except when it’s convenient to play the blame game.

I’m tired of the blame game.

For Obama, the economy seems to be a mystery that can only be solved by infusing it with capital borrowed from other countries or signing laws limiting oil companies from drilling for domestic oil or changing the congressional focus to a healthcare bill that does little to fix the housing market. With the deficit being at an all-time high, Obama summarizes the problem in a single word: “Bush.”

Then he goes on to claim that in the next four years, under his leadership, the economy will be wind-driven. It will be solar driven. It will be better.


What say you to this idea, readers of HPAC Engineering? Is wind the answer to all the economic woes in this country? From where I sit, wind is just that. Yes, it is a renewable energy, and yes, we are seeing wind farms crop up all over the world. But does wind power solve our energy issues? Is it an industry that will end the unemployment issues we face?

You see, Mr. Obama, in the mechanical systems world, wind is an interesting peripheral product that can help buildings be more energy efficient, but the key word here is peripheral. The heavy lifting is still in the form of HVAC mechanical systems that include chillers, chilled beams, VRF, and other institutionalized technologies that bear the brunt of comfort conditioning and process control. So I just don’t understand your wind-powered economy.

Then there is the Mitt Romney approach to the economy: Blame China.


He calls China a country of cheaters, apparently because he claims they steal ideas from us, they steal technology from us and they put these thefts to work to build their own economy at our expense. Since when is using others’ ideas wrong?

Mr. Romney, every company in the U.S. today grabs ideas from others and makes them their own. Some call that benchmarking. Has China been involved in economic espionage against the U.S.? Most likely. But the U.S. does the same thing to other countries.

Is China the reason our unemployment rate is hovering between eight and nine percent? Is China responsible for our trillions-of-dollar debt or our reliance on foreign oil?

In the end, no one is more to blame for our economic troubles than us. In this election year, the idea of working together in a bipartisan environment simply doesn’t appear to be on the agendas of either political party or their leadership. Solving energy, housing, employment, and social problems will never get done as long as our political system is focused on this blame game.

The United States needs real leadership right now. We need a government that understands the vital role that business plays in the success of this country.

We need a government that understands that the construction industry in general is one of the largest contributors to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and we need it to help remove the roadblocks that inhibit the rebuilding of the commercial and residential building marketplace. If we do that, many of these other things will take care of themselves.

America, let’s not be stupid: It really is all about the economy.