The future in America may just be so bright that you’ll have to wear shades. And who will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of this happy news? President Barack Obama, at least according to historian, author and former adviser to the McCain campaign, Niall Ferguson. In an interview this week, he describes what may be a coming “golden age” for the United States and how that could only go to benefit the President.
But now an unlikely champion for U.S. growth under the Obama administration has emerged — a former adviser to a Republican Party presidential candidate and Harvard history professor, Niall Ferguson, who says America could actually be heading toward a new economic “golden age.”
And it has nothing to do with Washington and everything to do with energy.
What Ferguson is talking about is the ongoing surge in natural gas and oil production in the United States, specifically through the development of shale oil resources using fracking. As has been reported many times, production is up and continues to rise, with the US set to eclipse Saudi Arabia as the world’s top energy producer in the next decade. This, as he explains, will not only create jobs in the energy industry, but low cost supplies will also bring back manufacturing here at home as production costs fall and labor costs stabilize in comparison to China. And over the long run, Ferguson is also confident that this strengthens the dollar.
But why would he think this benefits Obama? Niall is hardly a fan of the current administration. Not only was he a McCain adviser, but he also penned a widely touted editorial this summer called, “Hit the road, Barack.” The author explains:
For the recently reelected U.S. president though, the energy boom looks like it could provide a welcome tailwind for his second term.
It’s something that Ferguson acknowledges — though one suspects through gritted teeth.
As a supporter of Mitt Romney he penned a controversial pre-election cover story in Newsweek headlined “Hit the Road, Barack,” which was highly critical of the president’s first term.
He concedes the irony that the president will now be the beneficiary of the “good times that lie ahead.”
So, as it usually goes in energy discussions, it appears that the free market is poised to see the oil and natural gas industries surging, not because of Barack Obama, but in spite of him. Washington continues to close off public lands to energy exploration leasing and festoon an ever expanding list of oppressive regulations on energy producers, and yet the market finds a way to meet demand. And if it manages to succeed while Obama’s hand is still on the tiller, he gets credit for leading the nation into this new golden era.
There’s really just no justice, is there? Here’s the video of the interview so you can catch the entire thing in context.