Iowa caucus results increase nervousness among establishmentfinancial types, who favor former private equity whiz Mitt Romneyon the Republican side and Hillary on the Democratic ticket. AlGore and John Kerry got absolutely no traction talking aboutraising taxes on the rich, but the early 2008 winners -- Obama,Huckabee, and even John Edwards -- make hay by implicitlycountering Wall Street dogma for making permanent Bush style taxcuts and cutting corporate taxes further. People in the downtroddenheartland at least raise hackles over the growing inequity betweenpayouts to private equity barons/corporate chieftains and the rankand file. Stoked by the Huckabees and Edwards, voters finally wakeup to the idea that the deck may be stacked against them,especially in the souring economy. It wouldn't surprise if JohnMcCain starts reminding people that initially he had voted againstBush tax cuts.

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Stalwart Reagan blue-bloods (like CNBC's windy Larry Kudlow)relentlessly talk up free market, lower taxes, less regulationmantra in the face of a housing debacle precipitated by free marketlicentiousness. And lets not forget earlier iterations of similarout-of-hand market disasters -- the junk bond scandals, the S&Lcrisis, the internet meltdown and Enron, all in the last 20 years.The market will self correct, the Wall Street establishment says,don't snuff out the nation's entrepreneurial spirit and give uslots of cheap money so we can continue to play (lower interestrates). But self correction seems to mean that fired CEOs walk awaywith vast fortunes, while little guy borrowers lose homes andordinary workers need to worry about layoffs. Gasoline pumpprices and heating bills now really start to bite when mortgagepayments ratchet up. This environment gets ugly for any politicianlooking to support economic policies that appear to favorwell-heeled, wheeler dealers.

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With their economic playbook looking like the single wing, theeventual Republican winner will gravitate to tried-and-truepolitics of fear campaign themes -- Islamofacistas are poised toinvade and immigrants are a threat to our borders. Tough guys likeMcCain and Rudy should gain ground on likable Huckabee, who seemsfuzzy not only about international matters, but also on crossingpicket line etiquette ("I thought Jay Leno had settled with hiswriters"). The Democrats, meanwhile, will dance to "change" linesand more populist "It's the economy stupid" themes. "You've beenstupid if you think trickle down will get to you." Fat cats will bein their cross hairs. And voters are primed to listen. After eightyears of George Bush, the Reagan Era may be ending, because amajority of Americans come to realize they are not better off afterall.

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© Miller Ryan LLC 2007

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Jonathan D. Miller

A marketing communication strategist who turned to real estate analysis, Jonathan D. Miller is a foremost interpreter of 21st citistate futures – cities and suburbs alike – seen through the lens of lifestyles and market realities. For more than 20 years (1992-2013), Miller authored Emerging Trends in Real Estate, the leading commercial real estate industry outlook report, published annually by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute (ULI). He has lectures frequently on trends in real estate, including the future of America's major 24-hour urban centers and sprawling suburbs. He also has been author of ULI’s annual forecasts on infrastructure and its What’s Next? series of forecasts. On a weekly basis, he writes the Trendczar blog for GlobeStreet.com, the real estate news website. Outside his published forecasting work, Miller is a prominent communications/institutional investor-marketing strategist and partner in Miller Ryan LLC, helping corporate clients develop and execute branding and communications programs. He led the re-branding of GMAC Commercial Mortgage to Capmark Financial Group Inc. and he was part of the management team that helped build Equitable Real Estate Investment Management, Inc. (subsequently Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, Inc.) into the leading real estate advisor to pension funds and other real institutional investors. He joined the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the U.S. in 1981, moving to Equitable Real Estate in 1984 as head of Corporate/Marketing Communications. In the 1980's he managed relations for several of the country's most prominent real estate developments including New York's Trump Tower and the Equitable Center. Earlier in his career, Miller was a reporter for Gannett Newspapers. He is a member of the Citistates Group and a board member of NYC Outward Bound Schools and the Center for Employment Opportunities.