A Bit More on the Jobs Report and Gear Shifts

August 2nd, 2013 at 1:28 pm

On the NYT’s Economix blog–An Economy Stuck in Second Gear.  Really, in between first and second right now, but you’ll see what I mean.

BTW, I read that only 7% of new cars have manual transmissions, so clearly I need to start mining for a new analogy.  Though this one has so much going for it beyond where I went in the linked post above.  EG, as a commenter astutely notes, we’re stuck in low gears because Congressional R’s are hitting the brakes.

Then there’s the inequality dimension I introduced in a post the other day:

We may shift into higher gears, but if we’re zipping along through gated neighborhoods in a Ferrari with no passengers from the bottom 99%, we’ll still be in trouble.

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2 comments in reply to "A Bit More on the Jobs Report and Gear Shifts"

  1. Tom in MN says:

    Automatics still have gears, it’s when everyone drives a CVT that you have to pick a new analogy.

    And as you’ve argued in the past we need more automatic counter-cyclical stabilizers in the budget like UI and SNAP so we don’t have to rely on congress to do the right thing with stimulus in a down turn.


  2. Perplexed says:

    -“We may shift into higher gears, but if we’re zipping along through gated neighborhoods in a Ferrari with no passengers from the bottom 99%, we’ll still be in trouble.”

    If you’re a member of the plutocracy, you can cruise along in second gear just fine and the wind won’t mess with your hairdoo!

    Maybe its all about incentives. Have you seen this paper (http://economics.mit.edu/files/5697) by Acemoglu? Wonky indeed, but seems like some pretty cogent arguments with lots of explanatory power. Have we been looking too long at models that don’t tell us what’s most important to policy decisions? If we model the effects of campaign contributions and other private money in politics maybe we can get closer to the real picture of how “our” economy really works? It seems we need a much “tighter” decision of what constitutes a “democracy.” The likelihood is pretty high that DINO just won’t get the job done for any but the plutocrats that control it.


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