Economy, Health Care, Iraq, Auto Bail-out- Oh My…

op-edby Susan Jenkins

Hollywood Today asks the man on the streets what he thinks about Obama’s initiatives

HOLLYWOOD, CA (RushPRnews) 11/25/08
– President-elect Barack Obama announced on November 24 his “all-star” team of five respected economists to make the recommendations that can handle the current crisis. Expectations are high for Obama, yet when faced with the potpourri of situations today in the U.S., it is difficult to know where to begin. For instance, people are mad and reluctant to bail out auto-makers or Wall Street power brokers for perceived bad decisions or excess, yet reluctantly agree the auto companies and the Street are part of the necessary U.S. economy.

Hollywood Today decided to take the question to the streets and see what people were thinking.
The Grove, a farmer’s market turned upscale, outdoor shopping area just east of Beverly Hills is an ideal place to test the temperature of Americans and their opinions on what should be the very top priority for the new administration. Visitors come from across the U.S. and worldwide and gather at the Grove to eat, drink, shop, and be merry and to give their opinions.

Not surprisingly, the economy led the list by a landslide when asked what the number one priority should be for Team Obama. The top topics for everyone included the economy, health care, Iraq and the auto bail-out with the potential bail-out receiving the strongest emotional response.

Lisa Janney and Connie Wiggins from Los Angeles stated that the economy followed closely by health care would be their number one and two choices. Dottie from Reseda, California said, “Oh my gosh, the economy- what else, right? If you get the economy right, then we’ll have our medical and everything else.” Matilda Seshie from New York stated that the economy was number one for her and “jobs, jobs, jobs” were imperative. Danny Gonzalas from San Antonio and Mohammad Karbo from Los Angeles both stated that the economy and then health care should be the priorities. Abe Kim from Burbank echoed the same thoughts.

Some had other opinions like Ken from Reseda who said, “Get the troops out! We’re spending 8 billion dollars a day and for what? We’re not going to win that war.”

Karl Gettelman states that his number one priority is “not to raise taxes or capital gains and dividends because that’s like a direct tax on the stock market. If you’re taxing wealthy people they take it right out of the stock market.” Gettelman said that “if he (Obama) would give up that idea it would be a really smart move.”

The potential bail out for the auto industry elicited the strongest responses. Greg Tarkington of Chicago said, “I don’t know if I think they should bail them out without some type of restructuring plan- a plan for them to pay back the money. I don’t think they should give them a big check for all that money and let them go and it will be gone on a year.” He further stated that he used to work for Pan Am and remember s when they went bankrupt. Tarkington said that nobody said, “Hey, we’re going to give you five thousand dollars to try to restructure. ” We just went bankrupt after all those years and that was the end of it. He also said, “I just don’t think we should give away that much money for everybody who comes for a hand out. When you think of the economy right now, it’s just so tough for everybody. Tarkington stated that he works at a hotel now and that “even there business is bad. People just don’t have the money right now.”
James Requa of Los Angeles agreed with Tarkington’s opinion saying,” The auto industry is a tough thing and I’m not sure we should bail them out.”

Jeanine Sanders of Atlanta disagreed, but had some conditions for the bail out. She said, “It’s like a snowball effect- if they don’t do anything about the auto industry, more people are going to lose their jobs and there are a lot of people who don’t have health insurance. I think with the auto industry that’s going to help our environment. I think if they put some regulations in place, they should go with that first.” She said that would also tie into the economy. Sanders further stated that before they consider bailing them out she thinks “all the top CEO’s should be let go, retired or whatever. I don’t think they should get another dime because I think they’re already rich. I think they should put some regulations in place and retool .” She also stressed the importance of tying the bail out to making environmentally safe automobiles.”

Internationally, comments ranged from Teymur Abasgouyev from Azerbaijan who stated that the top priority should be “to fix relations with other countries” to Martha Salgua, El Salvador and Vivianne Lobalt, England agreeing that the economy should be our number one focus.

England’s John Horton said he “doesn’t want to ruin anybody’s day but people think he’s (Obama) going to wave a magic wand” and Horton just doesn’t think it’s going to happen.

Taka from L.A. said the top priority should be to “get as many people together to turn back to God, but that that’s not going to happen.” Titiana Shirman from the Hollywood Hills said our highest priority should be “loving people.”

Whatever your opinion, one thing is perfectly clear- a magic wand will not do the trick.

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