What are Strawman attacks on Republicans
Is the Trump boom coming now?
I'd like to apologize to Mr. Rogoff for my post of DEC 7, 2016. I disputed the notion that the economy was already "growing at a 3% annual clip." I retorted by quoting some quarterly statistics on productivity. Obviously I had conflated the two variables. Pretty stupid, but I had just been reading upon productivity in a Robert J. Gordon article, about secular stagnation, and must have been primed for "productivity". Also their just released quarterlies were about the same, 2.8 & 3.1. But their stabilities are not the same. In fact the last four quarterly values are: 2.81%, 2.51, 2.80, 3.00. The last two years had 2.4% growth, so growth has grown by 0.6pts. And so Mr. Rogoff is correct, generally, in asserting that current growth is currently around 3%.
But I also misread the article in general, as being a prediction of what the author believes will happen, instead of a highly optimistic scenario of what might happen, namely growth above 4%. But it's not second nature to me that a 500 billion dollar stimulus might not achieve 4% growth, as the author is seems to believe.
But this brings up the larger, and more real, issue. Namely how important is higher growth to those who have, for so many years, failed to be effected by US economic growth. If there is anything I think that lefties & righties can agree on, it is that the recent election reflected a populace concerned about the distribution of income, both by class and geography. In other words one big take-away from the Trump election it seems to me is that:
"Growth just ain't what it used to be.
You gotta think about distribution too. "
Mr. Rogoff scoffs, perhaps, at the notion of secular stagnation. But ought the different theories, by Piketty and Robert J. Gordon, be seen as so implausible, that they can safely ignored in our predictions and planning?
Increasing debt at this time risks finding ourselves in similar straits somewhere down the road, except with even less resources, and even less of an appetite for even more debt. How will that go down with those who voted for Mr. Trump, mostly out of hope for economic change, who may need the help of another stimulus to get out of another recession?
But even more important, ignoring the possibility of secular stagnation, leads us away from planning for it, by focusing attention upon projects that may have only short term effects, when we should be
restructuring the fiscal machinery in order to improve the general aspects of the welfare, health and education, of the populace as we move forward in what are clearly difficult and uncertain times.
This article is otherwise, actually, quite well written; in the way the author equivocates, and puts things. But the personal attack is irrelevant, as they always are. And some of his points I disagree with. But more important, the author seems to want to bait liberals by an equivocal portrayal of Trump-ian economic success. But he does this by conspicuously ignoring the likely fate of those whom the policies are said-to-be designed to help.
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