U.S. economy

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Headed for Bankruptcy?
"The United States is heading for bankruptcy, according to an extraordinary [research] paper published" by Professor Laurence Kotlikoff for the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, "a leading constituent of the US Federal Reserve" and "one of the key members of the country's central bank," Edmund Conway reported July 14, 2006, in The Telegraph (UK).

According to Kotlikoff, a "ballooning budget deficit and a pensions and welfare timebomb could send the economic superpower into insolvency."


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External articles

2003

  • William Safire, The Pollyanna Conspiracy, New York Times, October 29, 2003: "A giggling gaggle of cockeyed economic optimists who operate under cover as the Pollyanna Conspiracy are threatening to seize control of American public opinion."
  • The Sticker-Shock Congress, New York Times Op-Ed, November 25, 2003: "...this year's end-of-session binge has gone way beyond pork, saddling the country with long-term obligations of mammoth proportions and inviting censure not only from the usual good-government types but also from economists who genuinely fear for the future of the economy."
  • Fed Reports Improvements in U.S. Economy, AP, November 26, 2003.
  • Glenn Somerville, Reports Brighten Economy's Growth Outlook, Reuters, November 26, 2003.
  • Robert Kuttner, Political 'Beat the Clock', Boston Globe, December 3, 2003.
  • Larry Elliott, America in reverse, Guardian/UK, December 17, 2003: "America's core measure of inflation fell to its lowest level since the mid-1960s as robust recovery in the world's largest economy failed to stimulate dormant price pressures, according to figures released in Washington yesterday. With a surge in output from US factories surpassing expectations on Wall Street, analysts were surprised that the consumer prices index excluding food and energy fell by 0.1 percentage points last month. ... The department of commerce said the annual increase of 1.1% was the weakest since the 0.9% rise in the year to January 1966 - a period before the cost of the Vietnam war and President Lyndon Johnson's welfare programmes led to a rise in the cost of living."
  • Louis Utchitelle, A Recovery for Profits, but Not for Workers, New York Times, December 21, 2003: "Output is clearly rising, and, normally, that would feed into both corporate profits and labor income. But while profits have shot up as a percentage of national income, reaching their highest level since the mid-1960's, labor's share is shrinking. Not since World War II has the distribution been so lopsided in the aftermath of a recession. ... The reasons for labor's poor showing are not hard to spot. The employment rolls are still smaller, by 2.4 million jobs, than they were at the recession's start in March 2001. Those who are employed are also feeling the squeeze, particularly the 85 million people who hold office or factory jobs below the rank of supervisor or manager. Their average hourly wage, $15.46, is up only 3 cents since July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That wage is rising at an annual rate of less than 2 percent, barely enough to keep up with inflation, mild as it now is. ... For a generation, we have permitted labor's bargaining power to deteriorate. Successive administrations - Republican and Democratic - have abetted the deterioration. Only in vigorous booms, like that of the late 1990's, have workers been in enough demand to give them bargaining power."
  • Jerome Armstrong, Republicard: spend like there's no tomorrow, dailykos, December 21, 2003: "Introducing the Republicard. First practiced under the record deficit-spending of the Reagan-Bush administrations, and now re-issued under the fiscal wreckage of George Bush with a trifeca of Republican-rule to again spend like theres no tomorrow."

2004

  • C.G. Estabrook, "Can George Ever Really Be Elected President", CounterPunch, January 27, 2004: "By the time Howard Dean was delivering his 'I have a scream' speech, a exit poll of caucus-goers had been compiled. It was conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International, a cooperative arrangement of the for-profit media -- ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, CNN, Fox News and the AP. It showed that Democrats in Iowa didn't disagree with Dean about Iraq -- 75% of them opposed the Bush administration's invasion of that country. But less than 15% said that the war was the most important issue. (And only 3% said that terrorism was the most important issue.) Far more of those who attended the caucuses said that the economy and health-care were their main concerns.
  • Mr. Bush's Revisionism, New York Times Op-Ed, February 10, 2004: "Mr. Bush was absolutely right when he pointed out that he did not cause the economic slowdown, which lingered on as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks and corporate scandals. But it was hard to take the president seriously on Sunday when he said it had been his tax cuts alone that had turned things around. That version of recent history overlooks the Federal Reserve's central role in minimizing the damage from the recession by its aggressive interest-rate cuts. It is also hard to figure out how cutting such taxes as those on investors' dividend income, or phasing out the estate tax over 10 years, stimulates consumer demand. Smaller, more targeted tax cuts in 2001 and 2002 -- like a suspension of certain payroll taxes -- could have done more to stimulate the economy at a far lower cost to the Treasury."

2006

2007