Hillary’s Economic Plan – Nickel and Diming the U.S. Economy and American Workers

Hillary's Economic Plan

This is the second article in a four-part series, “Fix the Economy, Stupid.”

Listening to Hillary Clinton’s speech on the US. Economy last Thursday (August 11), she sounded as if she was fighting hard for the little guy, the American worker, those who have been left behind by bad trade deals and companies moving production offshore to hold down labor costs.  But dig a little deeper and what you find is a plan that is woefully inadequate to meet the country’s investment needs and stimulate renewed economic growth.

As was pointed out in last week’s article, the U.S. economy is in serious trouble.  Growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has averaged just about 2% since 2000, compared to average growth rates of 3% to more than 4% in prior decades since the 1950’s.

With the notable exception of Bernie Sanders, Democratic politicians have been slow to acknowledge the issue, in part because it’s seen as tarnishing President Obama’s legacy.    The reality is that under the circumstances, Obama has done about as well as could be expected given the Great Recession of 2008 and the Congressional gridlock that followed.

Enter Hillary Clinton.  She acknowledges the need for greater investment in U.S. infrastructure, and touts her plan as “the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II”.

Well, not exactly.  She proposes to spend $275 billion over five years, or an average of $55 billion annually, less than 0.3% of GDP, and a mere 9% increase in current Federal investment – investment levels already far too low by orders of magnitude.

Some $25 billion of the $275 billion would be used to fund an “infrastructure bank” designed to attract an additional $225 billion non-Federal investment.  That’s not a bad idea for the long term, but it’s not going to stimulate growth or move the needle short term.  It seems like something designed to make the numbers sound bigger than they are, but not alienate her conservative supporters.

Bernie Sanders has proposed infrastructure spending of more than three times the amount recommended by Hillary – $1 trillion through 2020.  Meanwhile, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the cost even higher — at $1.4 trillion through 2025 to repair existing infrastructure, or bring it to a “state of good repair,” as they say in engineering parlance.

Quality public infrastructure is a key to the efficient functioning of modern economies.  Allowing it to deteriorate as it has in the U.S. is fiscally irresponsible.  Our highways, airports, ports, railways, water and sewer systems and electric power supply grids are all in need, not just of repairs, but major upgrades.

If you include upgrades in the estimates, the real cost is probably in the tens of trillions to modernize our infrastructure and bring it into the 21st century.  Just as one example, most advanced European and Asian countries already have high speed rail, with trains routinely operating at speeds of more than 200 mph.  In the U.S. our fastest train, Amtrak’s Acela, which runs between Boston and Washington, travels at an average speeds of just 65 mph.

The longer we put off much needed infrastructure investment, the higher the costs and the greater the disruption to our economy.  Now is the time to act.  The economy is faltering badly; interest rates are at historic lows.  Effectively, the cost of borrowing is next to zero.

Hillary Clinton’s economic plan is, in reality, no plan at all.  Her proposed spending levels are too meager to lift the economy, create significant numbers of new jobs, or make a real dent in our huge investment needs.  By pretending to offer a plan that falls so far short, Hillary Clinton is actually putting the future of the U.S. economy, and its workers, at risk.

Next week, in part 3 of our 4-part series “Fix the Economy, Stupid” we’ll examine why mainstream politicians continually underestimate investment needs; why that is a cause for worry; what we can do help remedy the situation, and possible sources of funding.

The Big Picture of U.S. Economy – It’s Ugly

Economic Growth Rates

This is the first of a four-part series, “Fix the Economy, Stupid.”

Last week, the unemployment report came out for July.  The U.S. added 255,000 jobs, more than economists had forecast, and suddenly the economy is doing great, everything is back on track, and the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates later this year.

If you follow the economy through the daily media or the gyrations of the stock market, you are likely suffering from whiplash.  Up one day; down the next.  We’re in a recovery; no, we teetering on the brink on recession.  Ouch, my neck hurts.

Sometimes, it is useful to take a step back, look at the big picture.  But if you do that, be prepared.  You might wind up with more than just a crick in your neck; you are more likely to experience pain deep in your gut.

As shown in the accompanying graph, economic growth in the U.S. has averaged just about 2% in the last decade and a half.  That’s down from more than 3% in the 1970’s through the 1990’s and more than 4% in the 50’s and 60’s.  The latest figures for the first seven months of 2016 have the economy growing  just 1% year over year; optimistically, the very best we are likely to do is 1.5% to 2%  in 2016.

Many Democratic politicians, President Obama included, would have you believe everything is fine, even as they reluctantly acknowledge that perhaps wage stagnation for the vast majority of Americans is a problem.  Well … yea.

Republicans, meanwhile, continue to spew supply side propaganda while pretending it bears some relation to real economics.  Donald Trump touted his “economic plan” (sic), released earlier this week, as tax reductions for “middle income” taxpayers.  Not surprisingly, that statement is misleading at best.  Trump’s proposed tax cuts mirror those of House Republicans and are heavily skewed in favor of wealthy taxpayers, as TDV documented in the July 8 fact sheet, “Under Republican Tax Proposals, the Rich Get Richer.”

Why the long-term economic slowdown with wage stagnation as its core?  The answer is obviously complex.  Economists and talking heads debate whether the cause is increased international competition, bad trade deals, a decline in worker bargaining rights, loss of manufacturing, slackening consumer demand, automation of the workplace, or all of the above.

Well, all of those factors no doubt contribute to the economic malaise the U.S. finds itself in today.  But there may be an overarching cause that very few really talk about – political dysfunction.

That is not just something that happened in the past.  Now and in the future, political dysfunction and outright mismanagement of the economy continue to pose a threat to the security of all Americans.

Economic policy has two major components – fiscal and monetary.  Largely due to the dysfunction of the U.S. Congress, one of those, fiscal policy, is virtually non-existent.  It is not just that Congress can’t pass a budget.  Essentially there is no coherent fiscal policy; no guiding principles by which to foster growth and prosperity, and our economy as a result is at serious risk.

It’s a big problem. It not getting near enough attention.  It needs to be talked about more, and it needs to be fixed.

More about the faltering U.S. economy and what can be done to fix it, including monetary policy, in upcoming articles in TDV’s four-part series: “Fix the Economic Stupid.”

Next week, the second of four parts focusing on Hillary Clinton’s Economic Plan.

Some of Worst Poverty in America a Subway Ride Away from DNC

PhilaPovertyMap7

More than a half century after President Lyndon Johnson announced the War on Poverty, poverty rates in the U.S. average 15% of the population, or 47 million people, among the highest in the industrialized world. It’s a living tragedy and a national disgrace, and TDV has called for a “New War on Poverty.”

Sadly, tackling poverty in the U.S. does not seem to be high on the agenda of either major political party. The Republicans are busy whipping the country into a frenzy of fear and paranoia which helps divert attention from their real priority – more tax breaks for the wealthy.

Meanwhile, many of those attending the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week seem strangely out of touch with what is going on in the real world, more adept at “sloganeering” than  tackling the major issues of concern to ordinary Americans – a lack of opportunity and decent paying jobs.

Perhaps delegates to the Democratic National Convention should spend less time attending fancy receptions and cocktail parties and more time out in the neighborhoods, getting to know the people who actually live in the City of Brotherly Love.

Like many urban areas, Philadelphia has enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years.  Young millennials have flocked downtown and surrounding areas where they can easily walk to work, get around on public transportation and enjoy a vibrant nightlife of hip bars and eateries.

That’s the Philadelphia that many conventioneers are likely to see, with most events scheduled to take place in South Philadelphia or Center City where much of the “millennial renaissance” has occurred.

But just north of Center City, still in the shadow of the iconic statue of William Penn atop City Hall, are some of the most blighted neighborhoods in America. Philadelphia is the poorest of America’s large cities, with more than 25% of its residents living below the poverty line. In many areas of North and West Philadelphia, the rate is 50% of more – twice the city average (see above chart of poverty rates by zip code).

Here’s a suggestion for those attending the Democratic National Convention – as you leave the Wells Fargo Center where the convention is being held, walk about a block north on Broad Street to AT&T station. Take the subway – the fare is $2.25 – through Center City, past Temple University to Broad & Erie, about a 25 minute ride.

BueryBuildingThere you will find a vibrant – if dilapidated – commercial district. Look up and you will see the long vacant Beury Building, a graffiti covered Art Deco classic that has been sitting vacant for years. Walk a few blocks in any direction, and you’ll see trash strewn vacant lots and crumbling buildings everywhere. Visit any of the neighborhood schools and you’ll find children who haven’t had a decent meal all day and teachers paying for food and supplies out of their own pockets because the state has cut funding and diverted resources to privately run “charter” schools.

We must eliminate poverty in the US by attacking it where it lives, in the neighborhoods of Philadelphia and other cities and rural areas across the US. We must fix the crumbling infrastructure, provide a safe environment and quality education for all children, and decent jobs and job training for adults struggling to find work in a faltering economy.

When we do that America really will be “the Greatest Nation on Earth,” as Michelle Obama said in her speech Tuesday night. But with all due respect to the First Lady, who gave an otherwise great speech, as long as there are 47 million people living in poverty in the US, we have a long, long way to go to claim that mantle.

View / download the fact sheet

Hope Springs Eternal on the Mean Streets of Camden, NJ

In Camden, NJ,  one of the most dangerous and poverty stricken cities in America, a group of young people prove that ordinary folks, working together, can bring about positive change that profoundly alters the direction of people’s lives.

Filmmakers Steve Ercolani and Gabe Dinsmoor document the story of Camden’s Pyne Poynt Park.  Not long ago, the park was a drug strewn vacant lot.  Today it’s a thriving neighborhood playground where children can forget the desolation and despair of urban decay and feel the power of sports, of teamwork, of the sun shining on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, of hope and of optimism.

In Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman, one of America’s great poets, referred to his hometown of Camden as the “Invincible City.”  Indeed, Camden, located across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, was once a thriving industrial center, the largest shipbuilding port in America, a major railway hub, and home to RCA Victor and Campbell’s Soup, among other big industries.  That is until the post-industrial crash when, starting after W.W.II, industry left en masse, and white flight, race riots and rampant political corruption decimated the city.

Today, Camden is still plagued by poverty, crime and urban decay, but it is slowly, surely coming back. As if responding, belatedly, to Walt Whitman’s call to be “Invincible”,  crime and poverty rates are down in Camden, police are getting out of their cars and interacting with the community, and redevelopment is occurring downtown.

Pyne Poynt is a beautifully told documentary, an inspiring version of the American Dream, in which hope springs eternal on the mean streets and vacant lots of Camden, New Jersey.  It is a story about those who have refused to be beaten down by poverty and crime and who  have fought against all odds to better their lives and give their children the opportunity to succeed.

The documentary, which originally premiered at the New York Independent Film Festival this Spring,  will be shown at WHYY Studios, 150 6th Street, Philadelphia, Monday, July 25, at 7pm, during the Democratic National Convention.

Tickets are available online.  This is a must see film.  We hope to see you there.

Pumping Gas, a Military Veteran for Trump Loses Hope

NJ Turnpike Sign Exit Left for Political Revolution

It’s not easy to make ends meet these days, especially if you are a returning veteran, forced to work for minimum wage pumping gas on the NJ Turnpike.  Our elected representatives should open their eyes wide, listen to the distressed voices of people all over this country and the world (as the “Brexit” vote showed) and take heed – the political revolution has begun. 

Part of TDV’s “Eyes Wide on the Streets” series

We stopped for gas and a cup of java, Mary and I, as we made our way to Brooklyn to visit with family including the newest addition, Little Rosemary, our 4-month old granddaughter.

The station attendant, a white male, perhaps 35 years old, in addition to pumping gas, washes our windshield. I tell him it has been a long time since anyone has done that, and I appreciate it.

It may be my purposely friendly demeanor or perhaps the Bernie Sanders sticker pasted to my back window.  The attendant opens up as if we are old friends, telling me has served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As he talks he becomes increasingly animated.  I can see the agitation welling up inside him. He looks me dead in the eye, as he gestures with his free arm, the one not holding the squeegee.

“I am voting for Trump”, he says.  “The Russians are flying jets right over our carriers.  We are the laughing stock of the world.  Everyone is laughing at us.

“I have lived down there (the Southwest).  I know what it’s like. I have seen it up close.  We need a wall. We need a wall.”

I plead with him.  “Please don’t vote for Trump.  He is a flaming racist, an embarrassment, not fit to be dog catcher, let alone President of the United States.”

He is having none of it.  I try to change the subject. It doesn’t work.

He repeats his mantra – “Everyone is laughing at us; we need a wall.”

It is time to leave, but he persists.  I’m finding it difficult to break off the conversation.  Eventually I do get in my car, breathing a sigh of relief.

Thankful for all that I have – A beautiful wife.  A loving family.  Economic security.

Sad that someone must struggle so mightily that it turns him against others facing similar challenges in their daily lives … concerned about what this implies for the future of our country.

But ultimately, selfishly perhaps, grateful that I have been fortunate enough not to have risked my life in unnecessary foreign wars, only to find myself on the New Jersey Turnpike working for minimum wage, barely able to feed myself, let alone a family, with little or no hope for the future.

It’s all too common, and nothing short of criminal.

To our elected representatives, TDV says – enough already.  Raise the minimum wage, invest in people – in health care, job training and education; fix our crumbling roads and bridges, and stimulate the economy so it works for everyone, including returning veterans, not just the privileged few.

To those who say it can’t be done, Republicans and Democrats alike, who pompously pretend to represent the people, but who in fact spend most of their time and effort raising money and doing the bidding of wealthy donors, TDV offers this advice:

Open your eyes wide, look around you, and take action … the political revolution has begun.

Book Review: Makers and Takers by Rana Foroohar

Rana Fohoohar

… subtitled The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business, Rana Foroohar’s book is an in-depth look at the dangers posed by a financial services industry bent on maximizing short-term profits at the expense of real investment in the U.S. economy…


Finance and economics are complex subjects.  Throw politics and public policy into the mix, and it is understandable that candidates such as Bernie Sanders tend to duck the specifics and talk in broad rhetorical flourishes about “the Billionaires” and “Wall Street.” Meanwhile, many ordinary folks, with demanding jobs and families to raise, often tune out altogether.

But that is a mistake, because the ordinary folks of “Main Street” are getting hammered by an economy in which productivity and growth are at historic lows and wages are stagnating.  Something needs to be done.  But what?  It is not an easy task to fully capture the dimensions of the problem or possible solutions.

Enter Rena Foroohar, an assistant managing editor at Time Magazine, whose book does a thorough job of looking behind the curtain of the financial services industry.  Foroohar documents, in great detail, the evolution of the industry in which the business model has morphed over decades from lending primarily to Main Street to milking existing assets to generate fees and income.  In so doing, the industry, once an engine of growth, has effectively stifled real investment and is a major reason why U.S. economic growth is at historic lows.

Foroohar cites many examples of how “financialization” (as she calls it) works for the benefit of the “takers” in the financial services industry, but not the “makers” of Main Street.  The industry earns most of its profits on debt, encourages excessive borrowing which over-inflates asset values and contributes to the boom and bust cycles that have plagued the U.S. economy over the past several decades.

Many large, publicly traded companies that once routinely reinvested profits for growth, are now under heavy pressure by “shareholder activists” to plow profits back into stock buybacks, dividends, acquisitions and mergers.  Increasingly, profits come not from growth and expansion, but from cost reduction which, in turn, reduces demand for labor and leads to wage stagnation.

Other examples of “financialization” cited in the book include excessive fees on financial transactions which do little to generate real growth and often wind up hurting consumers.  Commodity trading, a major source of Wall Street revenues, inflates the value of goods needed for everyday life, including food.  Private equity investors (or “shadow banks”) are increasingly buying up residential properties and raising rents even as the overall economy sputters.    Retirement savings, such as 401ks, are also at risk, subject to high “advisory” fees and the gyrations of an increasingly volatile stock market.

Meanwhile, our tax and regulatory policies have become so complex that many government officials don’t fully understand the regulations or have the resources they need to properly enforce them.   Lobbyists routinely exploit loopholes in an overly complex system.  That, in fact, is a major concern with the Dodd-Frank bill, passed in the aftermath of the Great Recession to regulate the financial services industry.  As an example, writes Foroohar, “The loopholes make it possible … for banks and hedge funds to continue their opaque, risky trading of foreign-exchange derivatives in international markets (something former Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner personally signed off on)”.

Meanwhile, tax policies tend to reward debt and asset ownership over productivity.  Interest on debt is tax deductible; retained earnings used for R&D and investment is not.  Large companies can use “inversions” to buy up or merge with foreign companies, stash income overseas and avoid taxes.

Compounding the problem are the policies of the Federal Reserve which has pumped trillions into bond buying programs, the net effect of which was mainly to inflate asset values disproportionately benefiting the wealthiest Americans.

The result is an economy in which productivity and real wages lag because so much time and effort is devoted to fee generation and extracting income from assets, paper and otherwise, rather than producing real products and services that underpin a productive economy.

How to fix the problem?  It is not going to be easy, because the financial services industry is so large – “It represents about 7 percent of our economy but takes around 25 percent of all corporate profits, while creating only 4 percent of all jobs,” according to Foroohar.  And it fields the biggest lobbying organization in the Nation, one that is heavily invested in maintaining the status quo.

There are a couple of straight-forward fixes Foroohar recommends, including simplifying regulations and being more transparent; increasing capital requirements for banks so they put more of their own equity at risk, rather that borrowing; reinstating Glass-Steagall so that commercial and investment banking are separated, and reforming the tax code so companies invest for growth (not just funnel money to shareholders).

More broadly, Foroohar suggests we think in terms of a “new growth model” in which, among other things, we reduce the role of the finance industry, reform tax policies to encourage more productive investment in goods and services, and bring a broader group of stakeholders into the process, including labor.

These are worthy goals.  They won’t happen overnight.  But Foroohar’s book, though perhaps a little dense and “policy wonkish” at times, is nonetheless an important contribution to the debate.  Her book clearly lays out the issues and recommends reasonable approaches to move the financial services industry away from short-term income generation and towards productive investment to help fix a broken economy.

Voices from the Past: FDR on the “Economic Rights” of All Americans

RooseveltPictureEconBillofRights… Including the right to a living wage, housing, and health care.  More than 70 years later, Bernie Sanders says he is a “Socialist”, but he sounds a lot like Franklin Roosevelt in arguing, in effect, for a new “New Deal.”


It’s January 1944.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt is nearing the end of his third term.  He is just back from the Cairo and Tehran Conferences where he met with the leaders of Britain, Russia and China.  The purpose of the meetings was to discuss strategies for defeating Germany and Japan and how the Allies would manage the peace once the war had come to an end.

Returning home, FDR is concerned that, once the war is over, the country may repeat the retrenchment and isolationism that followed W.W. I.  He uses the occasion of his 1944 Annual Message to Congress, his first major speech after returning from the Mideast, to argue that Americans need to pull together not just to win the war, but to build a strong and robust post-war economy.

But that can’t happen, FDR believes, if large segments of the population are left behind, as they were in the Great Depression, an era of massive unemployment and poverty that marked the initial years of Roosevelt’s presidency.

To ensure that doesn’t happen again, FDR proposes an Economic Bill of Rights to supplement the political Bill of Rights handed down from the founding of the Republic.  He envisions the U.S. as an economic powerhouse second to none in the world – a country in which no one lives in poverty or wants for the necessities of life, including a living wage, a decent home, quality medical care and education.

Normally Roosevelt would have delivered his speech in person before Congress.  However, FDR was apparently ill with the flu and chose instead to deliver the speech by radio as a fireside chat from the White House.

The following excerpt speaks directly to Roosevelt’s call for an economic Bill of Rights:

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.”

People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Today, we are experiencing some of the slowest economic growth in modern history.  Wages are stagnating and people are finding it increasingly difficult to find decent jobs.

This is the type of economy, Roosevelt warned, that is “the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

Of all the candidates,  Bernie Sanders in particular has been unequivocal in his call to tackle poverty and wage inequality in the tradition of FDR and the New Deal.

Sanders writes:

Let’s be clear, it is a national disgrace that 46.5 million Americans are living in poverty today, the largest number on record. It is a national disgrace that at 21.8 percent, the U.S. has the highest childhood poverty rate of any major country on earth … Here in the United States, significant progress has been made but much more needs to be done to provide dignity and opportunity to all Americans regardless of income.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt has a “Special Place in Heaven” among liberal Democrats.  And from that special place,  we strongly suspect that FDR is cheering Bernie on and praying that he will finish the work that FDR began more than 70 years earlier.

 

 

To Fix Economy, U.S. May Need a Second Keynesian Revolution

Picture_SupplySideEconomics2

The U.S economy is hurting.  Despite massive stimulus programs and historically low interest rates, the economy remains mired in a slow growth cycle characterized by low labor force participation, wage stagnation and a lack of adequate investment.  To get the economy moving again, we may need to draw on lessons learned from past generations.

PictureOfKeynesJohn Maynard Keynes was a British economist who departed from neoclassical theory to argue that government held the power through monetary and fiscal policies to mitigate boom and bust cycles and stimulate economic growth.  In the U.S., Keynes theories were embraced by Franklin Roosevelt as a cornerstone of the “New Deal” that helped lead the U.S. out of the Great Depression and through World War II.

In the Post-War Period of the 1950’s to the 1970’s, the “Keynesian Revolution”, as it came to be known,  underpinned one of the most robust periods of economic growth in the Nation’s history.

In the 1970’s and early 1980’s, however, double digit inflation helped give rise to “supply-side” economics which argued that excessive government taxation, spending and regulation were at the root of the problem.  Supply-siders maintained that, contrary to Keynesian doctrine, lowering taxes and reducing government spending would help tame inflation, lead to an increased supply of good and services and stimulate a sustainable level of demand.

Meanwhile, wealthy individuals and corporate interests in the U.S enthusiastically embraced supply-side economics because it argued for lowering high marginal tax rates.  To generate public support, supply-side economics was sold as a pro-small business, anti-government initiative to unleash the creative energy of the private sector to generate economic prosperity.

For a while it actually seemed to work.  Inflation was brought under control when the Federal Reserve under Paul Volcker aggressively raised interest rates in the 1980’s.  Republican and Democratic administrations lowered marginal tax rates. And the economy boomed during much of the 1990’s.

If anything, supply-side economics worked too well – until it didn’t.  Not only were taxes lowered, but government regulation of the financial services industry, for example, was weakened to the point that credit become much too easy.  An asset bubble ensued in the late 1990’s and 2000’s, led by the housing market.  Bad loans were re-packaged into complex financial instruments, known as “Credit Default Swaps,” that few people, including rating agencies and government regulators, understood.  And it all came crashing down in a wave of defaults leading to the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009.

The U.S. responded with a combination of monetary and fiscal stimului.  It was labelled by some as a “Keynesian Resurgence.”  On the monetary side, the Federal Reserve aggressively bought bonds under a “quantitative easing” program that pumped billions into the banking sector to help keep interest rates low and increase lending and investment.  And the Administration and Congress did their part by adding about a trillion dollars to government spending programs over a several year period starting in 2009.

However, the stimulus programs were offset by cuts at other levels of government; by consumers ratcheting back their spending as housing values plummeted and unemployment increased, and by banks and businesses reluctant to take on additional financial risk in a slow growth environment.

Graph_GovtSpendingAsPctOfGDPAs illustrated in the graph at left, government spending at all levels as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (17.7% in 2015) is now at the lowest level since 1950.

In hindsight, the so-called stimulus after the Great Recession seems a minor blip up on an otherwise persistent downward trend line.

A similar trend is evident when looking at economic growth rates (see graph below).  Today the economy is struggling to maintain 2% growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the lowest average rate in generations.

AnnualGDPGrowthSo, as you listen to the Presidential candidates debate economic issues, bear in mind that, if you cut through the populist rhetoric, much of what you are hearing is a debate on how to fix the U.S. economy.

Bernie Sanders is effectively arguing for a Keynesian approach, similar to the New Deal, with relatively high marginal tax rates and government sponsored investment in people and infrastructure to stimulate growth.

Hillary Clinton may not identify as a “supply sider,” per se, but her approach to economics is much more traditional and conservative, looking to constrain government, keep marginal tax rate low, and rely more heavily on the private sector to stimulate growth.

It is a debate worth having, but at the end of the day the U.S economy is hurting badly, more so than many of our political leaders are willing to admit.

Realistically, it may take a “Second Keynesian Revolution” to restore the economy to sustained pre-Great Recession rates of growth.