July 25, 2017

Amerisclerosis

You used to read about “Eurosclerosis”, slow economic growth in Europe, quite a bit. At Bloomberg View Noah Smith points out that the United States has contracted it, too:

…the implication is clear — the U.S. needs to put the Great Recession behind it. During the downturn, it made a certain amount of sense to ignore those who called for structural reform of the U.S. economy — after all, there were more pressing, immediate issues to deal with. But now that the recession is long over and slow growth seems to be here to stay, economists and policy makers should put much greater focus on raising productivity growth and getting more Americans into the workforce. Rooting out Amerisclerosis won’t be easy, but it has to be done.

If I had to pick a single subject matter for this blog, that would be it. I’ve been writing about it now for nearly 15 years.

The most appealing target for fixing what ails us is reducing the deadweight loss of government and that in turn means returning government to its historic relationship to the rest of the economy, i.e. restraining taxation to 22% rather than surging towards 30%. That doesn’t mean cutting government spending to the bone. It means making prudent choices.

As me auld mither used to say we can have anything we want but we can’t have everything we want. It continues to be the case that there are no substitutes to thrift, industry, and other traditional American virtues.

Originally published at The Glittering Eye

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