Perspective, bitches

August 8, 2008

This is an excellent piece about the state of our economy and America in general. And smack the next person who compares today’s economy to the Great Depression.

Here are the opening paragraphs:

When a presidential election year collides with iffy economic times, the public’s view of the U.S. economy turns gloomy. Perspective shrinks in favor of short-term assessments that focus on such unpleasant realities as falling job counts, sluggish GDP growth, uncertain incomes, rising oil and food prices, subprime mortgage woes, and wobbly financial markets.

Taken together, it’s enough to shake our faith in American progress. The best path to reviving that faith lies in gaining some perspective— getting out of the short-term rut, casting off the blinders that focus us on what will turn out to be mere footnotes in a longer-term march of progress. Once we do that, we see the U.S. economy, a $14 trillion behemoth, is doing quite well, thank you very much.

I promise you that you’ll feel better after reading the whole thing.

(h/t Cafe Hayek)

Advertisements

6 Responses to “Perspective, bitches”

  1. superdave524 Says:

    Well, thank you Annie. Actually, perspective might be a good thing. Maybe. But if the alarm bells get us to save money, and if the government could try to set a decent example through financial responsibility, too, well, then you’ve got something. Cool pic, BTW.

  2. John in IL Says:

    Nice vid but don’t ever call me Annie (Becky, maybe). I see that the sun is out today!

    And if only teh govt would do it right, the rest of us would follow their example………………pfffffffffftttttttttttt. Dave, you’re not that naive.

  3. superdave524 Says:

    No, I’m not naive. I just know that government services (both social services and wars) cost money. Social services workers (though usually States pay them) and military personnel need to be paid. Early American history includes examples of when we actually issued IOUs to our soldiers. I HATE paying taxes, so you’d think I’d think things like stimulus checks would be a good thing. In the short term, sure. In the long run? Giving away money when you owe money through a deficit is just irresponsible (and giving the average Joe $600 to make palatable giving millions of dollars of tax breaks to the richest folks is cynical indeed). I get Keynes and Keynesian views about Government deficit spending when we need to and paying it down during times of plenty. Ironically, it was the “tax and spend” Democrats who heralded Keynes initially, while the “fiscally responsible” Republicans chided Keynes as hocus pocus. So of the last five presidents, which two were the most fiscally responsible? I liked Reagan, but his deficits were the second largest in the group. I didn’t like Carter much, but he was actually fiscally fairly conservative (that Puritan background, I guess). The others, you know. Make whatever excuses you want for W, and detract however much you want from Clinton, but the numbers clearly indicate which witch was which.

  4. John in IL Says:

    Here’s another great example of perspective. In the last year of the Clinton administration(2000)public debt as a percentage of GDP was 35.1%. At the end of FY 2007 it was 36.8%. Sorry, not too concerned

    The cost of that debt (interest) was 11% of tax revenue received in 2000. In 2007, it was 9%. Wow! what a deal.

    “Fiscal responsibility” is one of those tricky terms ,like “middle class”, that every politician likes to throw around but won’t actually define. It sounds good, but what does it mean? Companies and households go into debt all the time. Does that mean they are fiscally irresponsible?

    (source for my numbers)

  5. superdave524 Says:

    Certainly, there are a lot of people that understand economics a lot better than I do. One of them, Alan Greenspan, spends some time in his book “The Age of Turbulence” explaining why deficits (or prolonged ones, anyway) are a bad idea. Anyway, in politics there is seldom one correct answer, just difference approaches. As long as you apply the same standards to the different players (and parties), I can respect your viewpoint.

  6. John in IL Says:

    Alan Greenspan is a smart guy. He supports personal retirement accounts and other entitlement program reforms to address long term fiscal problems. Got no problem with that.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: