Economy

A Former Clinton Official on How Obama Isn't Doing Enough for the Economy
August 26, 2011

This article is a contribution to 'Is There Anything That Can Be Done? A TNR Symposium On The Economy.' Click here to read other contributions to the series. The persistent sluggishness of the recovery here in the United States and in most of the world’s advanced economies should underscore a stark lesson from economic history: Systemic financial crises are the products of deep economic problems, and they can’t be solved by simply treating the after-effects of slow growth.

Obama’s Got Plenty of Options to Right the Economy—He’s Just Got to Fight for Them
August 24, 2011

This article is a contribution to 'Is There Anything That Can Be Done? A TNR Symposium On The Economy.' Click here to read other contributions to the series. Here’s the policy reality facing the president: The economy is stuck in the mud and the American people are losing faith that policy makers can do anything about it. As long as GDP growth is persistently below trend—trend being around 2.5 percent—the unemployment rate won’t be going anywhere good anytime soon.

What’s So Bad About a Slow Economic Recovery?
August 23, 2011

This article is a contribution to 'Is There Anything That Can Be Done? A TNR Symposium On The Economy'. Click here to read other contributions to the series. Between the ugly political standoff in Congress over the debt ceiling and the wild fluctuations of the stock market, it has been a tumultuous last few months in the United States. The Eurozone countries, for their part, aren’t faring any better, facing an angry public, bailouts, and an uncertain future for monetary union. And yet, despite the gloom on Wall Street and elsewhere, many fundamental aspects of the U.S.

Let’s Be Honest: We’re in a Depression, Not a Recession, And There’s No End In Sight
August 23, 2011

This article is a contribution to 'Is There Anything That Can Be Done? A TNR Symposium On The Economy.' Click here to read other contributions to the series. If the notion that we are merely living through the aftereffects of a mere “recession” that ended in 2009 sounds somewhat ridiculous, that’s because it is. If we were being honest with ourselves, we would call this a depression.

There’s No Shortage of Work. There’s a Shortage of Workers.
August 22, 2011

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Turns out there isn't a shortage of work, just a shortage of workers.

Is There Anything That Can Be Done?
August 22, 2011

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of America’s current economic crisis is its persistence. The problems that began in 2007 with the collapse of the sub-prime housing market—a market that few in the world had previously heard of—are still burdening us today. And it’s not yet clear whether our national economic stagnation, high-levels of unemployment, and rising political polarization are going to dissipate anytime soon. Considering the extraordinary nature of our economic situation, we’ve decided to go in search of extraordinary economic solutions.

Forget Bailouts and Stimulus. Let’s Think Small.
August 22, 2011

This article is a contribution to 'Is There Anything That Can Be Done? A TNR Symposium On The Economy'. Click here to read other contributions to the series. Various flashy stimulus packages—whether through the spending measures typically advocated by Democrats or the tax cuts regularly pushed by Republicans—remain a constant and tired refrain in our political debate. But if programs like George W. Bush’s 2001 tax cuts and Barack Obama’s Recovery Act tend to dominate the news, in the long run our living standards are determined by the compounded effect of productivity growth over decades.

Want to Fix the Economy? Start With Social Security.
August 22, 2011

This article is a contribution to 'Is There Anything That Can Be Done? A TNR Symposium On The Economy'. Click here to read other contributions to the series. With millions of Americans out of work, a mounting federal debt, and the national economy at risk of a renewed recession, no one seems to be thinking about the Social Security system at the moment. But they should be. Fixing Social Security—that is to say, restoring the program’s actuarial balance—would serve our economic needs in a number of ways.

The Latest Jobs Report Is All Bad News
August 05, 2011

The Labor Department reported that the economy created 117,000 jobs in July and revised the prior months’ growth slightly to bring the average over the last three months to 72,000 jobs per month. This rate of job growth is below the 90,000 a month needed to keep pace with the growth of the labor force. Consistent with this fact, the employment to population ratio (EPOP) fell slightly to 58.1 percent, tying its previous low for the downturn.

Why the Global Economy Is Tanking
August 05, 2011

Last Sunday, legislators and the president, convinced that the United States was facing an imminent risk of default and their sound decisions were needed to wrest global well-being from the jaws of collapse, purportedly scrambled to announce a deal on the debt ceiling hours before the Asian markets opened. Instead of cheering the deal, however, global markets thumbed their nose and turned down within hours of the announcement.

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