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Unemployment Seen Rising in Last Pre-Election Jobs Report

Already, the sales of S&P 500 companies, which account for about 80% of publicly traded enterprises, are flat, and business investment fell in the third quarter. Sustaining profits will require layoffs.

By mid 2013, the economy may well be in a recession from which it cannot easily be resurrected -- a depression -- caused by fundamental problems not addressed by President Obama.

The growing trade deficits on oil and with China have been a huge drain on domestic demand, and those kill nearly 10 million jobs.

If elected, Governor Mitt Romney promises to tackle China's undervalued currency and other mercantilist policies that run up the U.S. deficit with the Middle Kingdom, and open up more offshore and Alaskan oil reserves for development. Those polices would quickly boost demand and get the economy back on track.

In the longer term, Romney policies to lower the trade deficit would substantially increase R&D spending, enough to permanently boost U.S. growth by several percentage points.

An economy growing at 4% or 5% a year, instead of its current 2%, would have far more resources to address issues like health care, the solvency of Social Security, an adequate national defense, and space exploration.

The choice this election is simple -- more of the same, high unemployment and perhaps a permanent recession, or a new course that gets the economy growing more rapidly again.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Professor Peter Morici, of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, is a recognized expert on economic policy and international economics. Prior to joining the university, he served as director of the Office of Economics at the U.S. International Trade Commission. He is the author of 18 books and monographs and has published widely in leading public policy and business journals, including the Harvard Business Review and Foreign Policy. Morici has lectured and offered executive programs at more than 100 institutions, including Columbia University, the Harvard Business School and Oxford University. His views are frequently featured on CNN, CBS, BBC, FOX, ABC, CNBC, NPR, NPB and national broadcast networks around the world.
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