Tag Archives: Simon Johnson

Unfinished Business

American campaigns are always about the size and role of government; it’s been this way since the days of Publius and The Federal Farmer. But campaigns often ignore topics the parties believe the populace might find unpleasant, especially if there is no benefit to either party in shining a light on the difficulties. So here are a few items that pose challenges to the nation, though you might not know it from the campaign.

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Simon Johnson at IdeasBoston

Simon Johnson, Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund had some sobering words about our economy on Wednesday at IdeasBoston at UMassBoston. Prof. Johnson talked about the European mess, the danger of debt, our Chinese rivals, and even a little politics.  

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Candidates, the Public, and Magic Thinking

Parents love those early years when the children engage in so much magical thinking. We can continue that enjoyment throughout our lives by listening to candidates’ proposals to reduce the federal deficit. Mitt Romney in particular promises to reduce the deficit by some magical formula that relies mostly on us trusting his business acumen. But one interesting lesson to come from this week’s MassInc Polling Group/WBUR poll is that the electorate may engage in less magical thinking than our candidates.

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Economics Blogs for the Politically Interested

Readers interested in economics should take a look at the Economist’s View. For example, there is a lively piece by Tim Duy on the debate over how much the Federal Reserve should do, bringing in the work of Carmen M. Reinhardt and Kenneth S. Rogoff, authors of the very influential This Time It’s Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly. Duy argues that a true understanding of their work would suggest that in the kind of crisis we have faced since 2008, the government including the Fed should do more, not less.

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