I want to back up another thing that Paul Krugman said. This time about long term growth. There is a wide spread sense among public officials and even a number of economists that there are things we either can or should do to prepare set the US up for strong growth over the long term.

This isn’t a liberal or conservative thing. Yes, you here lots of conservatives talking about government spending, taxes and the like. But, you also heard the President during the townhall talk about life long education, infrastructure, etc.

Yet, either the government has been amazingly consistent in providing the right balance of these goods, or they just don’t matter that much. Because long term growth has been incredibly consistent, even including the Great Depression and WWII.

Here is the real US GDP on a log scale (straight lines are constant growth rates)

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Though the Great Depression was horrible at the time after it and the War time bounce back were over the economy simply resumed the same path as if nothing had happened. Great Depression. Massive World War. The New Deal. The coming of the income tax and then the raising of it to stratospheric rates. The rise of labor and fall of organized labor. Entry of women in the work force.

All of it and you can barely see a dent. Some one has probably addressed this in the economic literature but from what I can tell GDP growth is steadier than GDP per capita growth and much steadier than GDP per worker growth. That’s deeply fascinating.

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