The past couple of days we’ve heard from Robert Young, chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation. Today, Young talks about the overall economy, in regards to the farm economy.
SFN: Bob, when it comes to the general economy, it seems that we’re doing the Texas two-step -- two back, one forward:
Young: Well, I think that the real challenge what we’re facing right now with the general economy is uncertainty. It’s uncertainty about what’s going to go on in Europe, it's uncertainty about what our own debt commission is going to get done, or not get done, etc. and it's just kind of working through all that. If we could get some uncertainty out of the system, what we’re going to do on tax policy, what we’re going to do regulatory policy, I think if we could get some uncertainty out of the system….don’t forget that these corporations are sitting on just big piles of cash, and if they could get to an environment where they could make long-term investments, you know, expand their businesses, get back into the hiring mode, I think you could see this economy turn, and turn in real a hurry. I think it’s just a question of let’s get the policies in place to kind of let that happen.
You know, I read in the past week or so that we’ve actually got more job announcements out there in the system right now than we’ve had in three years. So, it’s not that we’re not trying to get going, you know, let’s just get policies in place and let us move.”
SFN: Of course, it’s not a well kept secret that is absolutely the one thing that markets do not like is uncertainty.
Young: That’s exactly right. And again, I think that one of the real hits that this economy could take is that if this supercommittee does not get something done, and get back into this kind of morass of saying to the rest of the world that we can’t govern ourselves.
SFN: So, are you kind of the thinking here that if we get our own side of the street clean with some policies and other things, whatever’s going on in Europe will make no difference?
Young: You know, I’d like to say that we’re so isolated from them that we could do that and move on, I think it’s critical that we kind of get Europe contained, I think we could minimize…we could certainly reduce the effect if we could get our own financial house in order. Absolutely.
SFN: And of course, the deadline for the supercommittee as last week, and they did not reach an agreement.
Robert Young, chief economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation