Thursday, March 09, 2017

More of "Why Trump": How About the Sucky Economy?

Eberstadt's essay is almost impossible to excerpt; it is too comprehensive.

Nonetheless, a quick overview:

...In fact, things have been going badly wrong in America since the beginning of the 21st century.
It turns out that the year 2000 marks a grim historical milestone of sorts for our nation. For whatever reasons, the Great American Escalator, which had lifted successive generations of Americans to ever higher standards of living and levels of social well-being, broke down around then—and broke down very badly....

Notice that his timeline begins in 2000, NOT in 2008.  That's key, because we all concede that 'financial' recessions such as the one beginning in '08 take a long time to repair.  But this is not a 'financial recession.'  It's worse.

...The reasons for America’s newly fitful and halting macroeconomic performance are still a puzzlement to economists and a subject of considerable contention and debate.1Economists are generally in consensus, however, in one area: They have begun redefining the growth potential of the U.S. economy downwards. The U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO), for example, suggests that the “potential growth” rate for the U.S. economy at full employment of factors of production has now dropped below 1.7 percent a year, implying a sustainable long-term annual per capita economic growth rate for America today of well under 1 percent....

One percent!!  Compare that to population growth and you have a yuuuuuuuge jobs deficit.  That shows up in the Employment/Population ratio, which has been deteriorating since 2000.  So:

...In our era of no more than indifferent economic growth, 21st–century America has somehow managed to produce markedly more wealth for its wealthholders even as it provided markedly less work for its workers. And trends for paid hours of work look even worse than the work rates themselves. Between 2000 and 2015, according to the BEA, total paid hours of work in America increased by just 4 percent (as against a 35 percent increase for 1985–2000, the 15-year period immediately preceding this one). Over the 2000–2015 period, however, the adult civilian population rose by almost 18 percent—meaning that paid hours of work per adult civilian have plummeted by a shocking 12 percent thus far in our new American century....

There's a lot more.

So, then:  why Trump?  Why the continuing revolt against The Establishment?  Still asking??

No comments: