Publisher’s Letter September/October 2008

Take Your Pick

We are days from the presidential election, and most polls show a lead one way or another in the low single digits. The country is divided on just about every issue that the candidates are basing their campaigns on.

The economy seems to be the deciding issue for this election, and the candidates are stumping every chance they get about how their policy is just what the doctor ordered to fix our economic woes.

Democratic candidate Barack Obama’s plan is to reduce the influence of lobbyists, strengthen regulatory agencies and make government more open and transparent. Obama feels that there has been an “ethic of irresponsibility” permeating the current administration and government.

Republican candidate John McCain and his camp believe the answer is assembling a bi-partisan board that sets the rules as to when firms get government help. McCain has emphasized the importance of protecting capital markets and saving people from losing their homes.

It is easy to see what the struggling economy means at home with gas prices rising from roughly $2.65 per gallon last year to roughly $3.65 per gallon (on good days) this year, and a gallon of milk going from $3.15 in 2006 to $3.77 this year.

But how do global destabilizing issues affect the cost of doing business? An increase in a barrel of oil ($75 in August 2007 to $117 August 2008), along with the increase in transportation needs impacts every IDN and Hospital in the nation, as well as distributors and manufacturers. And we have yet to even imagine the extent to which today’s rocky financial markets will determine all of our purchasing budgets next year.

No wonder the economy is taking front and center stage in this election. Our choices (according to each other’s competition) are;

A first-term U.S. senator and former state legislator that has no executive leadership experience.
A 26-year veteran of Washington, D.C., that was on duty when many of the policies and regulations were enacted that got us in to this situation.

I find the whole election process way too long and stressful, so I would like to have some fun with it! Let’s hear your predictions on where we are in a year from now. Send me the following and whether or not we can attribute your prediction to you.

Who wins the election?
How much does each of the following cost on Oct. 1, 2009.

  1. A gallon of gas
  2. A loaf of bread
  3. A barrel of oil
  4. Steel

I will then re-visit these predictions in the September/October issue in 2009. It will be like unearthing a time capsule and we can see how well we predict the future! Feel free to put in there another fun prediction or two.

Send me your predictions at jpritchard@mdsi.org or fax them to 678-623-3495.

John Pritchard About John Pritchard

John Pritchard is the publisher of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting as well as The Major Accounts Exchange (The Max).

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