Conservatives and Republicans have been relatively calm about Obama's victory. Numerous conservative pundits have called for measured responses. For example, Pajamas Media's NeoNeocon advises:
But I suggest that everyone stand back, take a deep breath, and wait. Wait, and observe. ... The goal of each of us should be to react only to evidence, not fear.
Unfortunately, some of us are not in a position to just wait, observe, and react. Those of us who are attempting to build companies actually need to do some predictin' along with our reactin'. We don't have the luxury of only reacting to events as they unfold.
We've got to guess what sort of capital will be available as we grow. We've got to foresee new and onerous regulations (like the devastating Sarbanes-Oxley). We have to forecast demand for our goods and services.
The less we can do that, the more risk there is in every decision. And there's a lot of risk and guess work in the best of situations.
This is not the best of situations. And I'm not even talking about the financial fiasco, credit crunch, market meltdown, or whatever.
Obama won the election as a blank slate. That means I have no idea what he's going to do. Is he really going to raise tax rates for the "rich"? Is he really going to increase the capital gains rates? Is he really going to spend (literally) untold sums on massive new government programs requiring huge government borrowing?
If so, I'm screwed. Plain and simple. Because while leviathan companies like IBM, GE, Microsoft, etc. might be somewhat inconvenienced by higher real costs of financing, small companies like mine, at the margin, are the first to lose access to capital. Only the rich invest in speculative startups like mine. It's actually illegal for non-rich people to invest (or, more accurately, illegal for me to knowingly accept investments from the non-rich). So if the rich decide that, due to taxes, they're better off with tax-free municipal bonds instead of riskier, speculative investments, I'm out-of-luck. So are my suppliers, my employees, their families, etc.
Even worse (or at least as bad), I have no choice but to assume the worst, because I have no idea what Obama and Congress are going to do. Since many of the decisions that I need to make are long term, it's not even good enough to guess what's going to happen next year. I need to have an idea of the tax and regulation trends for the next three to five years.
I guess for people who have steady jobs, it is possible just to sit back and react to whatever comes like NeoNeocon suggests. But for those of us trying to build viable companies, that just won't work.