Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lazear Calls It The Worst Recovery In History

Ed Lazear is a macroeconomist from Stanford. He was one of Bush’s economic advisors.

He terms this the worst recovery in history. I think that’s exaggerating, but it’s close.

And, he overstates his case:

Victor Zarnowitz of the University of Chicago argued many years ago, the strength of the recovery is related to the depth of the recession. Big recessions are followed by robust recoveries …

This has turned out not to be true. Some of it is nonsense too:

Are there other factors that may have contributed to the slow recovery that we are experiencing? It would be difficult to argue that government polices over the past three years have enhanced confidence in the U.S. business environment. Threats of higher taxes, the constantly increasing regulatory burden, the failure to pursue an aggressive trade policy that will open markets to U.S. exports, and the enormous increase in government spending all are growth impediments.

I’d give credit to the first three, but I’m not in favor of a policy to boost exports, and there’s no theory that government spending is an impediment (although the choice of where to spend might be).

All in all, it’s a weak case, but it shows where Republicans are coming from this year.

This is from an April 3rd op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal entitled “The Worst Economic Recovery In History”.

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