Tuesday, September 26, 2017
 
NYT Notices Global Growth is Slow, and Readers Are Quick to Comment

NEW YORK Aug. 7 (DPI) – The New York Times printed on the front page of its Sunday edition today a promotion of more spending to ignite global growth, and before midnight Saturday nearly 800 readers had already posted comments on the NYTimes.com site.

No matter that many of the comments were unrelated riffs on income inequality, or ruminations on whether growth is important or necessary. Neil Irwin’s Upshot Column – headlined “We’re in a Low Growth World – How Did We Get Here? – makes the somewhat obvious point that GDP growth has slowed to a crawl across the globe.

Irwin quotes economist and former Obama adviser Lawrence Summers, who recommends a new wave of infrastructure spending, something both presidential candidates have proposed in recent days.

But Irwin’s report largely ignored the underlying issues that are impeding growth throughout the industrialized world. As one comment put it:

I kept waiting to read the word “debt” and the phrase “structural deficits” – not to mention the phrase “lack of business investment” – but they never once, not once, appeared in Mr. Irwin’s report. Their omission was so glaring that I found it  difficult to take his analysis – and his advocating for more Keynesian-style spending – seriously.

Another comment:

Government stimulus programs, including helicoter money (cash for clunkers), don’t materially increase gdp; they just pull gdp forward..providing an incentive for people buy today what they would otherwise bought next quarter or next year. Long term growth in GDP is driven by innovation..new products, things we never thought about or thought we would need…the iphone, computers, etc. Apple last quarter reporting spending billions on R&D…looking for the next big idea, and even with their record of success, analysts doubt whether they can consistently repeat. If the likes of Apple cannot consistently and assure the development of new ideas, how can we possibly believe that government can do it. Government should support fundamental research, but it is industry, start ups, venture capitalists and market driven profit seeking that innovates, and we need government policy and a tax system that encourages that. It is very difficult for corporations and firms to remain dominant across generations..just look at the S&P companies or the DOW and how much they change. It is impossible for the government to do it. Every little start up is a laboratory pursuing a new idea. That’s where the innovation comes from, and that’s where growth will come from.

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