Thursday, May 17, 2007


From Eschaton:

The second is that early on it becomes hardwired in our young economist brains that it makes sense that if the pie is bigger there are more slices to pass around. You can have gains from a policy such as "free trade" and then redistribute the goodies later. But the redistribution doesn't happen.

All this leaves aside other issues, such as the fact that people, especially French people, don't just like goodies but also this mysterious thing called "leisure" which doesn't get counted in that GDP figure...

Click here for the rest.

Duncan Black, a.k.a. Atrios, is a trained economist who actually taught the subject at the university level before his blog became popular enough to support him. In my opinion, he's at his best as a blogger when taking on economic issues, explaining abstract concepts in concrete terms that average Americans can understand.

The above linked post is a good example. Of course, I totally agree with Atrios on this.

Back in the late 90s when the economy was booming, it was achingly obvious to me that vast segments of the population were being left behind. I often told my public speaking students that the economy was doing great...if you're rich. And after multiple Bush recessions, the now "recovering" economy appears to be doing the same thing. Indeed, it's become pretty obvious that the old ways of determining national economic health are no longer useful. A growing economy means nothing if you're not in the loop, and not in the loop is where more and more Americans are now finding themselves. Unemployment is down? Well, that would be really nice if all these new jobs weren't in the shitty service sector for low wages and no benefits. Consumer spending is up? That's just great for all the credit card companies holding the usurious levels of debt that more and more people find themselves servicing. The corporate sector has finally perfected the art of expanding the economy and pocketing the profits--part of that is owning politicians from both parties who've legalized the whole scam.

Things are fucked, and economists are oblivious.