The government needs to understand that only the people who run privately-held businesses, unencumbered by excessive taxes and regulations, can create long run employment in the United States. Everything else is a temporary fix.
The American economy needs more stimulus, an outright jobs-creating program, and tax incentives to keep jobs here. As far as I can see, Washington just thinks we will blithely grow our way out of the ongoing malaise.
It is clear to see why investors place so much emphasis on the oil price as a dictator of Russia's financial health. Supplying some 11.4% of the world's oil supply last year, Russia is the "biggest single source outside the OPEC cartel."
Unfortunately, we have yet to embrace the simplest or most obvious solutions for reducing the nation's deficit while also ensuring a continued level of growth necessary to remain competitive globally and head off future recessions.
We could be forgiven for wondering if we have learned anything over the past few years. We would deserve less forgiveness if we were unwittingly preparing the ground for the next slump and no one sounded the alarm.
It is altogether possible that all those black swans we've been reading about -- debt crises, floods, earthquakes, nuclear meltdowns, Mideast uprisings -- are finally having an impact on business confidence.