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Lawrence H. Summers

The economics of austerity: Lawrence H. Summers

Jun 03 2013

Paced by housing and energy, the U.S. economic recovery is likely to accelerate this year and budget deficit projections have declined as well.

The economics of austerity

Jun 02 2013

Paced by housing and energy, the U.S. economic recovery is likely to accelerate this year and budget deficit projections have declined as well.

Is American democracy dysfunctional?: Lawrence Summers

Apr 14 2013

With the release of the president's budget, Washington has once again descended into partisan squabbling. There is in America today pervasive concern about the basic functioning of our democracy. Congress is viewed less favorably than ever before in the history of public opinion polling. Revulsion at political figures unable to reach agreement on measures that substantially reduce prospective budget deficits is widespread. Pundits and politicians alike condemn gridlock as angry movements like Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party emerge on both sides of the political spectrum, and partisanship seems to become ever more pervasive.

How to target untaxed wealth: Lawrence Summers

Dec 16 2012

Sooner or later the American tax code will be reformed - probably sooner. Raising revenue will be the main motivation, but at a time of sharply increasing economic polarization, issues of fairness will be prominent too. There are also legitimate concerns about the complexity of current tax rules and their adverse effects on the economy.

Column: The debate about shrinking government is mostly wishful thinking

Aug 19 2012

With the selection of Paul Ryan as the Republican vice-presidential candidate, it is clear both political parties agree that the central issue in the coming presidential election will be the scale and scope of government involvement in the U.S. economy. There will be disagreement over what constituted "normal" levels of spending in the past and indeed over what constitutes "spending." But there is a widespread view in both parties that it is feasible and desirable that in the future the federal government will be no larger as a share of the overall economy than it has been historically.

COLUMN: Focus on equality of opportunity, not outcomes: Summers

Jul 15 2012

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts Even if the process of economic recovery proves protracted, the American economy will eventually recover, and cyclical issues will cease to dominate the economic conversation. It is likely that issues relating to inequality will move to the forefront. There is no question that income is distributed substantially more unequally than it was a generation ago - with those at the very top gaining share as even the upper middle class loses ground in relative terms. Those with less skill, especially men who in an earlier era would have worked with their hands, are losing ground, not just in relative but in absolute terms.

To fix the economy, fix the housing market

Oct 24 2011

Most policy failures in the United States stem from a failure to appreciate this truism and therefore to take steps that would have been productive pre-crisis but are counterproductive now, with the economy severely constrained by lack of confidence and demand.

The perils of European incrementalism

Sep 19 2011

In his celebrated essay “The Stalemate Myth and the Quagmire Machine,” Daniel Ellsberg drew out the lesson regarding the Vietnam War that came out of the 8000 pages of the Pentagon Papers.

A debt deal that solves the wrong problem

Aug 02 2011

At last Washington has reached a deal that raises the debt limit and averts a default that would have been a national embarrassment and an economic and geopolitical catastrophe.

Economic specialization is a feature, not a bug

Jul 26 2011

Mark Thoma is obviously right that academic economists should listen more to practitioners -- both economists who who work outside the academy and also, although he does not stress this point, to those who are active participants in the economy as buyers and sellers of products, labor, securities or anything else. However there are a number of respects in which his arguments is naive, incomplete, or goes to far and his analogy with what doctors do is misplaced.

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