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If you wish to be the best man, you must suffer the bitterest of the bitter.

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The ratio of federal government spending to GDP grew from about 21% in 2007 to 25% in 2011, a very rapid change compared to the relative stability of this ratio during the prior 25 years...

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Having higher numbers of occupants per existing structure doesn't bode well for selling off the homes having fallen or about to fall into the laps of bankers.All of the sci-fi stories pointed to a shorter work week, more leisure time and industries developing around increased leisure time coupled with the income to enjoy it. We have nothing like that in place or even in mind. Instead those desperate for any kind of job are to work longer hours for less pay and be appreciative for their opportunity.

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We have nothing like that in place or even in mind. Instead those desperate for any kind of job are to work longer hours for less pay and be appreciative for their opportunity.

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The bitter truth is that the employment prospects for a recent college grad are far more grim, especially full-time employment in their field of study.

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The Occupy Movement and everyone else worried about earnings inequality should be emphasizing the need to find ways to encourage more high school dropouts and high school graduates to get the required background and study habits so that they can, and want to, continue on for a college education.

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As compared to the post-World War II era, Americans with high school diplomas today are much less likely to find manufacturing jobs, because there are 2-3 billion people in emerging economies with similar skills who are willing to work more cheaply in order to have a shot at attaining a middle class standard of living.

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Global demographics instruct that manufacturing job growth in nations with emerging economies will continue to outpace manufacturing job growth in America.

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The best way to get American fiscal and other economic problems under control, and thereby "stimulate" the economy, is to institute growth oriented policies that would increase the long-term growth rate beyond the 3% average annual GDP growth rate of the past 130 years.

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Not about the ability to solve these problems, but about the will to do so.


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Ban on women driving should be considered world wide... :-) I would never allow my wife driving my car.. :-)

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Benji, "fossilized dung" would imply that federal ageenics are inert and non-aspirational. What they really are, instead, is a form of parasitic rot, like necrotizing fasciitis. The difference being that flesh-eating bacteria eventually run out of flesh to eat, while our benevolent government metastasizes into all aspects of our lives, incrementally wearing down our collective economic health.Juandos, in the long term, Prof. Perry will be correct. What's the (by now) old saying? "He's called 13 of the last two recoveries." He and Roubini are of the same cloth...just different ends of the bolt. I don't come here daily to get a jolt of pessimism, but eternal optimism in the face of wealth-destroying policies promulgated by Obama and his minions is irresponsible. We're never going to see the projected growth while we have regulatory uncertainties of the scale that we now have in the US. Magical thinking won't change that.


"We could be in a full-blown economic mewdtoln and Prof. Perry would yet be trumpeting how peachy keen things are looking"...Hmmm, well skh.pcola I sometimes think that on the odd occassion maybe Professor Perry can be bit overly optimistic...What I've found out though that over time Professor Perry tends to be a correct much more often than not in his calls...Mind you I'm a bit more pessimistic about real GDP growth in the world than Professor Mark is but it won't suprise me one little bit if he turns out to be correct...


PCola: I had been using "fossilized dung" to describe fereadl agencies, but a clever reader pointed out that the single word "coprolite" filled the bill.In my never-ending efforts to upgrade, I now go with "corprolite," or "corprolitic," to describe such fereadl agencies as the VA, USDA, Defense Department, HUD etc. I believe I stand on ground as firm as, well, coprolite, when I use this word thusly. Have you a better word? Pray tell.


The government needs to make up its mind. The Fed is tinyrg to start a bubble, while Obama is tinyrg to stop a bubble (a gold bubble doesn't create much value, except generate dollars).Also, it seems, U.S. defense spending as a percentage of GDP was twice as much in the 1960s than in the 2000s (perhaps, that helps explain the protests during Vietnam). Moreover, it was higher in the 1950s than in the 1960s, and higher under Obama than Bush (Obama doesn't do anything cheap).


From your own chart, while the rule may have held last time it happened, on the three priveous occasions in the last 10 years or so that GDP growth dipped below 2%, the US did not go into recession. Don't go looking for meltdown' with such glee, chaps!


H: "you seem to be suggesting that a laregr safety net has no cost," I am not making that argument - I am pointing out that Lucas refers to slower European growth rates in support of his argument, when in fact the data shows that there European growth rates are not, in fact, slower. Lucas does not seem to describe any other "cost" other than slower growth rates, but the data don't show such slower growth rates. My point is that Lucas' argument in unsupported.---@ SPREWELL: "what is it about Europe or Japan's native institutions that they simply can't hit US levels of GDP per capita or innovation? I think you will find it tough to argue that a preference for leisure explains those gaps away."Totally agree. I just don't think Lucas has made any credible, evidence-based showing that the GDP difference is entirely due to social safety net spending. Which is his entire argument.---@ METHINKS: you sure you want to use Germany as an example of a bad economic story? 2010: 3.6% GDP growth, 6% unemployment, $44,700 GDP per capita. About the same as Wisconsin, Oregon and Rhode Island. The Horror!---@ MORGANIVICH: "this has been the weakest recovery from a recession since ww2." This Great Recession (or lesser depression) is unlike any other recession since ww2. It is the largest financial / balance sheet recession since 1930, which Rogoff and Reinhart show alway lead to very slow, below-normal recoveries. Are you arguing the increased unemployment comp has caused this weak recovery, and not de-leveraging from historical leverage leading to weak end demand? Really?---As an aside, a blog forum does not seem to be the best way to keep up a back and forth discussion. Threaded comment systems are much better.

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