Q: What inspired you to write Money and the Human Condition?
Douglas Obey: My frustration with the fact that in arguably the most capitalistic country on the planet, American’s have little if any understanding and knowledge about the economy, finance or investments or the opportunities available and beauty of living in a free capitalistic society. They work their lifetimes for money and never learn how to make money work for them.
Q: How would you define the current state of the U.S. economy? And what do you see as the biggest threats to the economy?
Douglas Obey: The current state of the US economy is far weaker than reported. True unemployment is higher, corporate profits are lower and our debt, deficits and future obligations are weighing on the economy. Currently the biggest threat to the economy is the Federal Reserve making a policy misstep.
Q: As a real estate investor, how would you define today’s housing market? And is this a good time for people to buy property?
Douglas Obey: I feel today’s housing market is fairly strong and one of the few bright spots in the economy. The financial crisis of 2008-2010 caused housing to slow creating a backlog of supply that is only now catching up with the demand as young people start looking to buy homes or rent apartments. This along with low rates has pushed up prices and rents in most parts of the country. This pent up demand provides a good backdrop for real estate making it a good time to buy.
Q: Out of the many people running for president, who has the best economic policy proposals?
Douglas Obey: I have heard very little in the way of specific economic policy proposals. Some have voiced opinions on taxes, some raising them (Hillary and Sanders) on wealthy Americans which would hurt growth, while most of the Republicans are either suggesting reducing taxes (Cruz and Santorum), pledging to oppose tax increases (Christie), or have good track records for lowering taxes (Bush, Jindal, and Perry). Trump’s idea of increasing taxes on companies moving jobs offshore and on hedge funds is anti-growth, but he is correct in opposing a flat tax which Paul and Huckabee seem to be promoting. A flat/fair tax would put additional burden on the middle class which is already suffering economically more than any other group.
Douglas Obey is online at www.dougobey.com. An earlier version of this interview appeared on Business-Superstar.com.
Phil Hall has been (among other things) a United Nations-based radio journalist, the president of a public relations and marketing agency, a financial magazine editor, the author of six books and a horror movie actor. Also, as you will discover, he is not shy about stating his views.