Entries Tagged as 'Weak Economy'

Santorum’s Flawed Plan for Working America

David Frum January 5th, 2012 at 12:00 am 35 Comments

In my column for The Week I discuss the problems with Rick Santorum economic plan:

Santorum’s concern for the American middle class has been one of the most attractive features of his candidacy for the Republican nomination. Alone among the Republican candidates, he took note of the freezing of upward mobility and the stagnation of middle-class wages even before the financial crisis of 2008.

So what’s his plan? Santorum has proposed a special lowered rate of federal tax for manufacturing.

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Government Jobs Won’t Pay the Bills

David Frum January 2nd, 2012 at 4:54 pm 36 Comments

What is wrong (and right) with Joe Stiglitz’s analysis of the Great Depression? Click here for Part 1. Click here for Part 2. Click here for Part 3.

Back in the 1960s, Daniel Patrick Moynihan once offered this solution to the economic problems of black America: restore Sunday mail delivery.

The line was sort of a joke, but sort of not. The Post Office of those days really did provide secure employment to large numbers of black Americans, and a seventh delivery day would require the employment of still more.

Government can always create direct employment. It’s often said that the three biggest employers on earth are the Chinese Red Army, the Indian state railways, and the UK’s National Health System, government enterprises all. Click here to read more

The Problems With Stiglitz’s Depression

David Frum January 2nd, 2012 at 10:59 am 7 Comments

What is wrong with Joe Stiglitz’s analysis of the Great Depression? Click here for Part 1.

Problem 1: Repeat after me – The Great Depression was a global event. That’s a fact American economic historians always have great trouble keeping in mind, and Stiglitz here succumbs to the national myopia.

How did the troubles of the American farmer wreck every economy from Germany to China? If your theory of the Depression does not start with the huge debts bequeathed by the First World War – and the failure of the postwar settlement to re-establish a stable economic and financial order – then it’s not a very good theory.

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Stiglitz Rewrites the Great Depression

David Frum January 2nd, 2012 at 8:21 am 7 Comments

Joe Stiglitz’s offers in the current Vanity Fair an arresting theory of both the Great Depression and the current economic malaise.

Contra the (now) orthodox view propounded by Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz, Stiglitz argues that the Depression was not fundamentally a monetary event. Instead, Stiglitz counters, we should think of the Depression as driven by a deeper crisis in the real economy: Between 1890 and 1930, technological advance had rendered most farm labor obsolete. Click here to read more

Congressional Quagmire

David Frum December 20th, 2011 at 8:37 am 178 Comments

The problem is bigger than the House of Representatives. The prior question is: why did the Senate adjourn having passed such a ridiculous thing as a two-month extension of the payroll tax holiday?

It’s the answer to that question that reveals the true dysfunction in Congress.

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Yes, Hotels Draw Job Seekers. So What?

December 19th, 2011 at 12:22 am 6 Comments

Journalists need good, shocking examples of the country’s still serious unemployment problems and one offered itself this past weekend when people filled out more than 16,000 applications for about 750 positions as a new Cleveland casino. The deluge of applications made for good TV and appeared on dozens of websites.

Only one problem: dramatic as they are, the long lines of job seekers for a hotel are meaningless for a hotel or big casino are meaningless. (The Cleveland operation has no hotel as such but does offer hundreds of hotel-like jobs.)

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What Keeps the American Dream Alive?

December 16th, 2011 at 1:50 am 22 Comments

President Obama’s recent speech on income inequality and upward mobility has struck a chord with many Democrats. If the President keeps using this rhetoric, then it could become a central message of the 2012 campaign. If this happens, I would also bet that Elizabeth Warren will give the keynote speech at the Democratic Convention in 2012.

What’s interesting is that while there is growing awareness that America is a more unequal country, there is less awareness that America is also a less upwardly mobile society.

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Don’t Endorse Ron Paul

David Frum December 15th, 2011 at 11:08 am 148 Comments

Andrew Sullivan declares himself for Ron Paul as the GOP presidential nominee, as he did in 2008 as well.

As Andrew himself jokes, the Sullivan endorsement is more likely to hurt Paul than help him. In any event, there is precisely zero likelihood of Paul winning the GOP nomination, although he may well help to stop Gingrich from winning it. Paul is inescapably a boutique candidate, appealing to a very particular fringe within the GOP.

But here’s what does need discussing, in the wake of Andrew’s endorsement of Paul.

Paul has had an outsize appeal to writers and intellectuals dissatisfied with the present state of Republicanism.

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How I’d Revive the Middle Class

David Frum December 12th, 2011 at 3:43 pm 52 Comments

“Easy for Me to Say” is a FrumForum feature series in which David Frum answers reader questions about political issues. Readers are invited to pose questions that take the form of: “OK – so what would you do instead of this or that politician you’ve criticized?”

Questions should be e-mailed to editor [at] frumforum.com with “Easy for Me to Say” in the subject line.

In my column for CNN, I discuss economic policies that can help the American middle class, in response to question about my column in The Week on the President’s Kansas speech:

Realistically, the president’s Kansas speech translates into a formula of higher taxes on the rich to pay for more spending on favored Democratic public-sector constituencies. But what about the much larger private-sector middle class? Does the president have anything to offer those people — aside from the promise of a bigger government that might hire somewhat more people to enjoy the superior retirement packages offered to government workers?

Short answer: No.

What would a serious plan to improve middle-class incomes and opportunities look like?

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Can My Generation Make More Zuckerbergs?

December 8th, 2011 at 12:28 pm 49 Comments

Galatea’ is a columnist writing about her experience looking for work after her recent downsizing. Previous entries in her series can be read here.

This weekend I ran into a friend from high school with unmitigated amounts of professional success. He was president of the student government, studied at an elite liberal arts college, and now flew all over the world as part of a glamorous job working for an NGO.

“So what do you do?” Sam asked.

“Uhhhh I’m…between jobs…and uhh working on some, uh, projects….and uh so have you talked to anyone from high school?”

We ended up on the subject of what everyone else was doing. Somehow we began talking about the brightest kids we knew, the ones who ended up at Princeton and Harvard and Yale. And then Sam exploded.

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