Monday, March 11, 2013

Fed: Lack of demand, not red tape & taxes, is the problem

Here's some interesting research from the Fed, based on National Federation of Independent Businesses monthly surveys of small business, that disproves what conservative pundits and economists have been saying about "burdensome regulations" and "uncertainty" holding back the U.S. economic recovery.

Read their executive summary and weep, teabaggers!

What explains the sharp decline in U.S. employment from 2007 to 2009? Why has employment remained stubbornly low? Survey data from the National Federation of Independent Businesses show that the decline in state-level employment is strongly correlated with the increase in the percentage of businesses complaining about lack of demand. While business concerns about government regulation and taxes also rose steadily from 2008 to 2011, there is no evidence that job losses were larger in states where businesses were more worried about these factors.

These findings support what Paul Krugman, et al have been saying all along.  Don't get me wrong, it's good to be a liberal, it's great to be right most of the time, but it's really sad and frustrating that the truth is so easily dismissed. Getting this stuff right affects the lives of millions!

UPDATE: Just to be fair & balanced, here's a link to an article by economist Jeffrey Sachs on why Paul Krugman is wrong, why he is a "crude Keynsian." Maybe later I'll refute Sachs in a separate post, although I will say that the major points he offers are special pleading, not backed up by data.

By Atif Mian and Amir Sufi
February 11, 2013 | FRBSF Economic Letter

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