The Great Progressive Stagnation vs. Dynamism

Good analysis of the ongoing crisis.

Jeb Kinnison

In the US, the decades after WWII were marked by high growth and technological innovation. Rebound from recessions was quick, and reforms like the deregulations of the Carter era (trucking, railroads, airlines, interest rates on savings, and the breakup of the AT&T monopoly on phone service) and the tax simplifications of the Reagan administration lifted growth. Waves of labor-saving innovations grew productivity — computers first eliminated most manual record-keeping, then automated processes and streamlined production and logistics.

But each successive wave of recovery growth from recession has been weaker. This graph from the Center for Economic Policy Research charts the recoveries from the recessions of 1981, 1990, 2001, and 2007.

Recession Rebounds Compared - US Census Data Recession Rebounds Compared – US Census Data

The weak growth for the quarter puts this recovery even further behind any prior recovery at the same stage. After eight and a quarter years, the economy is only 10.1 percent larger…

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