Saturday, July 30, 2011

America's economy according to the Economist

I used to like the Economist magazine. I liked how it was smart, energetic and thoughtful. But since its change in management, what a piece of tripe it turned into.

Of course, the previous underuse of countercyclical policy suggests that it's more important than ever to get policy right now. Unfortunately, Washington is failing miserably on this score. Policy stances that were inadequate before now look dangerously tight. The Federal Reserve should have all the excuse it needs to reconsider its decision to halt purchases of government assets. Despite all the warnings about inflation, the core Personal Consumption Expenditures price index, which the Fed follows closely, rose just 1.3% in the year to the second quarter. That's far too low.

Meanwhile, Congress' behaviour looks incredibly reckless in light of new figures. This publication has argued consistently that while America needs to address its medium- and long-run fiscal challenges, immediate austerity would be a mistake. The dire economic situation undergirds this point: Washington should delay immediate fiscal cuts. Indeed, it ought to be spending more now and revisiting the possibility of a payroll tax cut.

Source: America's economy: Distress signal | The Economist

That may be the last article in the Economist I ever read. Someday I will tear the old Keynesian measurement of GDP apart. There is no such thing as macroeconomics as long as economists think like witch doctors.

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