After every major U.S. election, there is a gradual wind-down of passion for a few months.
For over a year now, people of all political views have been at high pitch on politics. They geared up for the Republican primaries, then the question of who would be the Vice President, and then the general election dominated the fall season.
The election took over October and November, and people were still closely focused during December and January. The State of the Union address in February kept a lot of people involved, but if we follow historical patterns, interest in what our government is doing will fade through spring, summer and into fall.
The problem, this time around, is that some real battles are just getting started because the economy is headed for a major shock.
Specifically, next January some of the most significant elements of Obamacare will go into effect. While January may seem a long way off, businesses are right now figuring out how to deal with the coming changes — and their reactions will have a major impact on the economy in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2013.
This is a huge concern, though most Americans haven’t clearly recognized it yet.
For example, almost every business with fifty or more employees will have to spend a lot more on health care starting in January. Many companies that are close to the fifty mark are deciding not to grow this year, and others are strategizing how to lay off and get below the fifty line.
Still others are debating the merit of breaking up into several smaller companies, and others are running the numbers on sending a lot of their business to other countries.
Some are looking at outsourcing more of their work to temp agencies, and many bigger companies are looking at simply laying off a lot of employees to keep rising costs within their budgets.
And none of this deals with the many uninsured people who are going to see their costs go significantly up — at the same time incomes are being pushed in the other direction.
The media isn’t saying much about this, but business is taking a huge economic hit in the months ahead, and it is looking at a number of responses — nearly all of which will directly impact employees, unemployment rates, and how many business stay in the United States. This will influence where investors put their money, sending a lot of capital abroad.
Serious economic concerns are coming.
In short, now is not the time to let down. Now is a time for real citizen involvement in what government does.
We can wait for the media to start talking about major economic challenges in the fall and next winter, but by then it will too late to do much about this reality.