Charles Ferguson on Glenn Hubbard
Hubbard's behaviour falls into the realm of evaluation for positive economics not normative economics. He and others like him should be disavowed en masse for their lack of professional integrity and the call is not even close. And we need to get to a point in society where we stop giving people a pass for unethical behaviour just because it is legal. We are seriously undermining the case for democracy when we allow elites to fix the rules and dance around their edges.
For the record - I have only voted against the conservative party once in my eighteen years of voting eligibility. But everything conservatism stood for when I was young - pro family pro small business- is being undermined by current catering to oligarchy elites by the right.
"Moving on, Chanos tackled an even bigger storyline on Wall Street — the belief that the economy is being hurt by too much regulation and uncertainty. This narrative just "doesn't hold" when you look at the numbers, Chanos said. For example, The Fed Register of financial regulation has grown just as much under President Obama as it did under President Bush.
And as for investment: "They say people are holding back investment ... and again, the numbers belie that," said Chanos. "Domestic GDP investment in the U.S. is back up just about to pre-recession levels and bottomed out in 2009, 2010 ..."
The problem, he said, is actually that "the investment we're all looking for is actually saving labor ... Look at what the internet is doing to retail," he added.
According to Chanos, investing in technology that makes things more efficient doesn't save jobs. So we're looking at a capital-labor tradeoff that's been going on for years. In the early years of the Bush administration this was masked by strong construction jobs but since the housing market collapsed, those are gone."
Long time readers of this blog will know this lines up pretty well with my views on structural unemployment.
Those wishing to see the video on Bloomberg.
Former CBO Budget Director, Orszag, gives the Dems their election year wedge issue
Orszag suggests that once tax cuts expire and mandatory spending cuts begin at the end of 2012, they would result in a 5% GDP deficit reduction, too much front loaded austerity for a weak economy.
Orzag suggests that politically, Obama's preferred move might be to propose increase to base deduction limits and lower payroll taxes for everyone. Once tax cuts expire, Obama can propose tax reductions that still stabilize the deficit long term.
He suggests that if Romney wins, we are more likely to see a lame duck session and retroactive extensions of the Bush tax cuts (Assuming Republicans maintain control of the House).
Hmmm, sounds like he has either gifted, or is floating, the democratic talking points for this election. Dems can say that they are advocating tax cuts for the entire population, whereas, the Republicans only want to help the top 1%. They can point to Euro and say the austerity advocated by Republicans is destructive and counterproductive to the economy and yet justify their actions by suggesting that their plan stabilizes the long term debt picture. Finally they can say that by playing chicken with the debt ceiling, to the point of causing a debt downgrade, the Republicans have put political interests of the elites above national interests.
Certainly puts Romney in an awkward position. Congressional districts, because of redistricting, tend to be safe once you have secured a primary win. Hard to see how either candidate will produce a coat tail effect this year.
Whether the Dems can take advantage of this idea remains to be seen. Republicans have shown that, politically, good execution of poor ideas (prescription drug benefits, gay marriage, swift boats) trumps bad execution of good ideas (health care reform).