A November 29 Marist College poll asked people whether they thought current economic conditions are mostly the result of Obama’s policies or whether they were mostly inherited. Two-thirds of voters think they were inherited, including two-fifths of Republicans.
On November 24, the International Monetary Fund posted a working paper examining the role of income inequality in generating economic crises. The mechanism is that an increase in the share of income going to the wealthy requires that this wealth be recycled through the financial sector to the non-wealthy, causing them to become overleveraged.
On November 22, Stanford economist John Taylor posted a paper on the question of rules versus discretion in economic policy. He strongly favors rules.
In a November 18 commentary, Yale economist Robert Shiller said it was foolish for governments to be thinking about fiscal consolidation when interest rates are at record lows. Instead, they should be borrowing massively to invest in public infrastructure and education, which will produce positive social returns for many years to come.
Also on November 18, the Kauffman Foundation released its State New Economy Index for 2010. It ranks states according to various indicators related to the “new economy” (knowledge jobs, globalization, economic dynamism etc.).
In a paper posted on November 16, Federal Reserve Bank of New York economist Gauti Eggertsson and Princeton economist Paul Krugman discussed the role of debt as the principal cause of the economic crisis. They conclude that economic slowdowns resulting from it are exceptionally difficult to get out of because the deleveraging that people and businesses are forced to engage in reinforces economic stagnation. On November 18, Krugman posted a shorter version.
Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He blogs daily and writes a weekly column at The Fiscal Times. Read his most recent column here . Bartlett has written for Forbes Magazine and Creators Syndicate, and his work is informed by many years in government, including as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House. He is the author of seven books including the New York Times best-seller, Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006).