I am, of course, happy to read this post by Matt Yglesias which confirms my own biases.
In a June interview with Fox News, President Obama appeared to argue that the country is suffering from high unemployment because productivity enhancing technologies such at ATMshave reduced the need for work. It wasn’t clear to me at the time if the president really meant that or if it was just a bad moment in an interview, . . .
Team Obama has, I think, landed on a more sophisticated version of this theory, and that explains some of the reason why Romer & Summers aren’t in the administration anymore and haven’t been replaced by like-minded people.
This confirms my biases because it suggests the world is in some ways a lot simpler than people make it out to be.
We observe a President not pushing for more stimulus and not appointing doves to the FOMC. What could be the reason? You could come up with all sort of theories involving intrigue and political strategery.
However, here is one you might want to try: the President doesn’t want to do stimulus and is not interested in appointing doves to the FOMC.
I would first wait for evidence that overturns that theory. It’s a powerful one and based on extremely common observation that people in general try to do things that they want to do.
Indeed, if I observe a person who cannot communicate – by baby for example – trying to avoid a situation, I am likely to conclude “Charlie does not want to do that” I think this is generally sound reasoning.