Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Against 'the end of prosperity'

The border between Haiti, left, and the Dominican
Republic shows the ravages of unchecked
deforestation on the Haitian landscape.
It wasn't the resources, it was the policy.
(Photo/United Nations Environment Programme)
From 2000 to 2010  a period that includes the worst economic recession since World War II  the U.S. economy has grown 45 percent in nominal terms, 17.6 percent in real terms, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis

That, in conjunction with this, is why I do not believe that recent American middle-class experience tells us anything about “the end of prosperity”:
"The disposable income of families in the middle of the income distribution shrank by 4 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to data compiled by the O.E.C.D. In Australia, by contrast, it increased 40 percent. Middle-income Germans, Dutch, French, Danes, Norwegians and even Mexicans gained more ground."
There’s much more in the article, a veritable litany of the ways America is turning, or has turned, into a Third World country. But for me, the above comparison with the rest of the world has tremendous clarifying power.

We live in a global economy. If resource constraints, rather than bad policy, are causing the woes of America’s middle class, why are those constraints not affecting the Australians, the Germans or the Mexicans? 

No comments:

Post a Comment