David Brooks: Fixing the Economy – Cyclicalists v. Structuralists!

Dear Commons Community,

David Brooks in his column in today’s New York Times promotes correcting  the structural problems with the American economy.  The essence of his argument is that the American economy no longer can sustain itself with quick or short-term fixes.  He comments that the economy is not simply in a downturn or in a down cycle  that will recover if and when good times return (cyclicalist view) but has major structural problems including a growing and eventually devastating amount of debt ($1 trillion per year).

Brooks makes a number of other important observations about globalization, education, and employment opportunities.

He concludes:

“In the United States, there are almost no politicians willing to embrace the cyclicalist agenda, which would mean much larger deficits. Structuralists don’t have a perfect champion either. President Obama is too minimalist. He doesn’t seem to believe America’s structural problems are that big, making his reform ideas small. Mitt Romney and Representative Paul Ryan understand the size of the structural problems, but their reform plans are constrained by the Republican Party’s single-minded devotion to tax cuts.”

Sobering commentary!



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