Home > Uncategorized > Op-Ed Columnist – The Parent Model – NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist – The Parent Model – NYTimes.com

During the first half of this year, German and American political leaders engaged in an epic debate. American leaders argued that the economic crisis was so bad, governments should borrow billions to stimulate growth. German leaders argued that a little short-term stimulus was sensible, but anything more was near-sighted…

This divergence created a natural experiment. Who was right?

The early returns suggest the Germans were…

Results from one quarter do not settle the stimulus/austerity debate. Many other factors are in play. For example, Germany is surging, in part, because America is borrowing. Essentially, we Americans borrowed from our kids, spent some of that money on German machinery, and ended up employing German workers.

But the results do underline one essential truth: Stimulus size is not the key factor in determining how quickly a country emerges from recession. The U.S. tried big, but is emerging slowly. The Germans tried small, and are recovering nicely.

The economy can’t be played like a piano — press a fiscal key here and the right job creation notes come out over there. Instead, economic management is more like parenting. If you instill good values and create a secure climate then, through some mysterious process you will never understand, things will probably end well.

The crucial issue is getting the fundamentals right. The Germans are doing better because during the past decade, they took care of their fundamentals and the Americans didn’t…

In the U.S., policy makers inherited a different economic model, one that also has certain advantages. It fosters disruptive innovation (of the sort useful in Silicon Valley). It also has certain disadvantages — a penchant for over-consumption and short term thinking.

In the past decade, American policy makers have done little to maximize their model’s natural advantages or address its problems. Indeed, they’ve only made the short-term thinking problem worse, with monetary, fiscal and home-ownership policies encouraging even more borrowing and consumption.

via Op-Ed Columnist – The Parent Model – NYTimes.com.

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: