Over at the NYT Economix blog.
Just in case you’re wondering, as I note in the piece, I’m not alone in this concern about a damaging downshift in growth and its inputs, including labor force participation. I wrote about CBOs work on this a year ago; this piece by Fed Reserve economists examines the issue in great detail, and Larry Summers important IMF talk is coming from a similar place.
One other thing. Often when I present this argument in public speaking forums, someone coming from an environmental-sustainability place reasonably asks whether it is really in the planet’s interest to be pursuing faster growth. My response is that faster growth does not have to imply faster environmental degredation. Especially given the public goods investment is an important part of the solution, growth policy should be complementary to climate policy, including investments in renewables and incentives to expand our national footprint in sectors that will be important in this regard, like advanced battery production and smart grid technology.