“…governments of mixed economies, coming into power on a wave of popular frustration, always run straight onto the rocks of the balance of payments and have to reverse themselves… Somebody should write a manual called something like “The First Two Years,” which would map the problems by which the mixed economy is assailed as a new social democratic government moves to implement its program.”
That is from “Lives of the Laureates”, a book of essays of Nobel winning economists reflecting on their lives and lifes work. So far I am really enjoying it, but not as much as I remember enjoying Heilbroner’s “Worldly Philosophers”. Apologies to Larry Klein and macro modellers everywhere, but I found his chapter extremely boring. More, I think, for his subject area than his writing style.
Anyway I don’t think trade deficits are a serious problem for Obama, considering the other problems he has, but thought Lewis’ general warning to parties riding a populist wave into power was worth remembering- perhaps even more so for President Kucinich in 2013.