Tags: Steve Malzberg Show | economy | savings | Peter Morici | economics

Economist Morici: Obama 'Irresponsible' With Nation's Finances

By Jason Devaney   |   Monday, 09 Jun 2014 08:06 PM

President Barack Obama is a "redistributionist" with "irresponsible" practices when it comes to America's finances, economist and professor Peter Morici said Monday.

Morici, who works at the University of Maryland, told co-hosts Dennis Kneale and Diane Dimond on "The Steve Malzberg Show" the United States needs to start creating more jobs and teaching people the value of saving and investing. Despite the fact that economy has created 200,000 jobs every month for the last four months,  a first since the late 1990s, and the unemployment rate is 6.3 percent, Morici says it's still not good enough.

"We really should be creating about 400,000 jobs a month if we're going to get all the people that are unemployed, standing on the sidelines and so forth back to work say over three years," Morici said. "To put it in perspective, we've kind of been in a job drought for a really long time since the beginning of this century. We've created maybe about 550,000 to 600,000 jobs a year, if you count recessions and recoveries. The real problem has been not recessions; it's that the recoveries have been too weak.

"The financial system is at a very, very vulnerable spot. We have a redistributionist president who's a lame duck and any problems he creates by giving away other people's money through their credit mechanisms will be the next president's problem. Maybe the one after that. So right now, it's perfectly reasonable for Mr. Obama in his quest to hold onto the Senate by any means possible to be wholly irresponsible with other people's money."

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Morici advocates for two things: Having Americans start saving, and encouraging college students to think about their futures when it comes time to chose a major.

"You can always just go out and get an index fund like from Fidelity or Vanguard or USAA with very, very low fees and just put a little bit every month," he said. "You can afford $25 to open an account — some of them will take $25 or $100 to start — and then every payday, automatically send them $25. Just have it withdrawn from your checking account. They'll do that for you. Over time it'll grow.

"The other thing you have to do is counsel your children about what they major in. My son was very good at languages but there is absolutely no percentage in majoring in Chinese these days or French because France has got lots of MBAs that already speak the language. Businesses don't hire people for foreign language skills. It's that simple and it's not an enormous advantage in business. The reality is [students should look] into something useful, like finance or engineering."

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