Now we have 38 days until the election, and it's been eventful. So what has happened in the campaigns so far, and what will happen that will affect American jobs from now on?
1. My prediction of a specific plan from Mitt Romney, brought in from Paul Ryan, has not materialized. The "five-point plan" on the Romney website looks much as before. When not saying the wrong things, the Romney seems to have concentrated on ideological differences. He must think that is good enough, since he has hardly appealed to the center at all.
2. The Barack Obama campaign has been conservative, with no apparent plans other than the current course.
3. The Intrade prediction market gives the Democratic presidential candidate, a more precise proposition than naming Obama, a 78.5% chance of winning. The sportsbook.ag offshore betting site, on which real money can be wagered, has Obama as a 7 to 2 favorite.
4. I predict Obama will win about 53% of the popular vote and 60% of the electoral vote. Because of Romney's gaffes and otherwise poor campaign will be the cause of most of that, though, Obama's coattails will be short. Republicans will retain House control, though by a thin margin, and Democrats will maintain the Senate.
5. Since Obama has just about said he won't change much, and the House and Senate will stay materially the way they are, there will be nothing on the table, and not much different will happen. Bernanke's gradual quantitative easing will continue, and will have some small positive effects, but nothing major, and the job situation, pushed by the forces of globalization, automation, efficiency, and health insurance costs, will stay much the same. The gap between the AJSN and the unemployment rate will increase.
6. Obamacare will get health insurance to millions who didn't have it before, but the issue of rising costs will not be significantly affected.
7. The country will adjust more and more to the shortage of jobs. With companies having less and less good ways of spending money, with their lack of customers, the funds from the quantitative easing will sit idle, and more will go out of business. An increasing number of Americans, knowing they have little chance of earning a living, will deteriorate physically and mentally.
8. In 2016, a Republican will be elected, more likely Marco Rubio than anyone else. The country will be ready for real change, but only with some compromise. Perhaps then the issues will take the forefront - if not, American weakening will continue. The choice will be ours.