Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer-prize winning foreign-affairs columnist at the New York Times, weighs in with a point that the editorial team at HW has been hammering for months now: that housing, and the economy in general, will decide the outcome of the upcoming Presidential election. Not Iraq, or the War on Terrorism. Not Social Security, or Medicare. Not abortion, nor gun control.
Friedman's thoughts on the matter
It’s the state of America now that is the most gripping source of anxiety for Americans, not Al Qaeda or Iraq. Anyone who thinks they are going to win this election playing the Iraq or the terrorism card — one way or another — is, in my view, seriously deluded. Things have changed.
Up to now, the economic crisis we’ve been in has been largely a credit crisis in the capital markets, while consumer spending has kept reasonably steady, as have manufacturing and exports. But with banks still reluctant to lend even to healthy businesses, fuel and food prices soaring and home prices declining, this is starting to affect consumers, shrinking their wallets and crimping spending. Unemployment is already creeping up and manufacturing creeping down.
It doesn't take a genius right now to see, unfortunately, the black storm clouds on the horizon and moving ever-quickly closer; for many Americans, that ugly storm is already here. For the rest of us, we should consider ourselves lucky enough to have time to batten down the hatches.