The Treasury Dept recently released this set of slides showing many ways in which the economy’s improved since the worst of the downturn. It’s an important document for those who think everything’s still in the tank. It’s not, and it’s important for the government to make the case that many of the actions they’ve taken have helped.
The chart below—particularly the part on the right–is one of their more important slides. It shows the growth rates of real business investment, and what do you know? This cycle so far is posting perfectly respectable investment numbers. Treasury is correct to post this fact in contrast to all the nonsense about regulation and taxes creating uncertainty and poisoning the corporate climate. If that were true—if, as the right-wing talking point puts it, investors are quaking about the implementation of health reform or the magnitude of the deficit—they wouldn’t be investing in new structures, equipment, software, etc.
Yes, there’s still loads of capital on the sidelines, and yes, these investments are not yet generating the number of jobs we need. But the investment record, along with the highly elevated rate of corporate profitability right now, belies the claim that regulatory uncertainty is freezing the business sector.
Source: Treas Dept, see link in post.