From Michael Boskin:
Capitalism has been history's greatest force for wealth creation, economic opportunity and improvement in the human condition. It doesn't come with guarantees against busts as well as booms, although better policy can limit the swings. For those who think the current financial crisis is primarily due to our limited government, consider that mixed economies with a bigger government presence, such as the U.K. and France, have their own burst housing bubbles and recessions. The Japanese government's micromanagement of its financial system didn't prevent a financial crisis at the end of its real-estate bubble.
We still have a tremendously productive labor force, great technology, and lots of tangible capital. The economy will return to health, to paraphrase the Founding Fathers, if we can keep our economic system largely intact. That's the vision, judgment and backbone we need in the next president as he navigates these difficult times.