Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    December 20, 2016 6:00pm-7:42pm EST

6:00 pm
incomes rising very much at the top. other groups are doing similar analysis, and this new way of looking at growth is one thing i hope policymakers will start considering in future years. adding this to our national statistics. i'm concerned we will be moving in the opposite direction. bls data inbout the your remarks, and one thing president elect trump has talked about on twitter is his disdain for the bls and the work it does. i have a lot of concern about the measurement we will be having about these issues. adding information on income distribution to our national income data would be a good place for us to start. findings i think require we focused new attention on what we know about the optimal growth path. , looking at about the role of inequality as -- in
6:01 pm
our society. a key question we have to answer is do we need inequality for an economy to grow? whether there might be some good things about making sure that folks in the top, that it is about innovation. there are none of -- a lot of a lot ofnisms -- mechanisms we can pinpoint. this is curtailing the ability of families to have strong economic growth. thinking about the mechanisms to which inequality could affect the economy and society, there are some big buckets. debt and consumption, human capital, entrepreneurship and its effect on our institution. throughalk you briefly the first three, starting with the macro view.
6:02 pm
you have to pardon me, i'm getting over a cold. let's start with the macro view. many economists believe the united states is experiencing stagnation. they find the income inequality places -- plays a role. run, inequality lowest consumption and economic output, in the long run it can leave -- leading to stagnation. there is another story in terms of the distribution of debt. books that are important from the past few years is one that showed the rapid increase in debt and the ,ise of the financial crisis that the distribution of household debt across families amplified the collapse of after the housing bubble, and that both exacerbated in extended the
6:03 pm
recession and slowed the recovery. inequality and wealth, inequality and access to the kinds of credit families had access to, had direct effect on economic stability. shifting to some microeconomic factors along the lines of how increasing income and wealth inequality contribute to economic growth, i point to the work of a sociologist that show between children of the rich and showed an of the poor has exploded. economic and educational differences matter. that says something about the effect of inequality on our society. it affects the potential for people to grow up and become entrepreneurs. one of the things we know about the united states is that
6:04 pm
traditionally one -- traditionally our entrepreneurs come from the middle class. if not been very poor nor very rich. economic stability, may be good start a business in the garage, you had economic stability to do something that you had a little bit desire to make something of yourself. one of the things you know is that alongside rising inequality, the potential for young people to grow up and be entrepreneurs has been declining. there was some really interesting research showing, they looked at schoolchildren, looked at their test scores and the probability of getting patents later in life. the children with high test scores from lower income thisies, i may say slightly wrong, it was not so much the test scores that predicted whether or not they got patents, it was also the income of their parents.
6:05 pm
smart kids from poor families, not growing up to be this kind of innovators because they don't have the same opportunity. that is an a norma's loss of wealth and talent in our society. ofthat is an enormous loss wealth and talent in our society. finally, and most important for a conversation today and what we need to be thinking about in terms of inclusive growth going forward is the effect of inequality on our institutions. i think as economist too often we tend to forget about the important institution and norms and thick about the messy reality of them. we've been looking a lot at the political science literature and scientists were looking at the applications of inequality a political decision-making and democratic accountability. work that found that in the united states, the likelihood that legislation becomes law is highly correlated with the wealthy support of that legislation.
6:06 pm
aligns policy preference with the rest of society, there is a mutual benefit, that if it does not, in their findings, it does not happen. that is a problem. it means that -- it poses enormous challenges for our democracy and the ideas are going to the top. of inequality on our institutions go far beyond this kind of retail politics. how, oneo think about of the things we've seen over the past few months, we are for decades that americans have had a decreasing trusting government. we've seen how this played out over the election cycle and i have a lot of questions about what trusting government is going to look like moving forward with the next administration. scholars are concerned about the high levels of inequality and how they wrote social bonds and norms.
6:07 pm
whichchallenges to inequality affects economic growth and stability means not only is the growth we are seeing now not fairly distributed, but it could impact working-class lives even further. what can you do and what is possible in the current political climate? i think that on the whole, we have tended to think about ,ost-market gap, addressing using the tax and transfer system for redistribution rather than thinking about what we do before we get to those market outcomes. but it want to give you ideas that focus on what we could call pre-distribution, focusing on pre-market outcomes. i want to focus on three areas. thinking about how we look at inequality and growth, not just at the bottom or top, but looking at all three.
6:08 pm
what are things begin do at the bottom, middle and top. i'll will make, a few comments about what i think about the politics. first, i think it is important that we start by talking about raising the bargaining power of labor to increase access to collective bargaining. that is something we lost in this country and it is something that has been talked about in written about. increasing worker representation would help to ensure people have a voice at the table. thisunder no delusion that congress and administration are huge fans of labor rights, but i think putting that at the forefront of our thinking, especially in picking about the implications of this for labor enforcement and what it means for people to earn a decent wage is an important thing to keep on our mind. for families at the bottom, we need to be very focused on anything we can do to boost wages. the federal minimum wage has not been increased in a number of
6:09 pm
years and purchasing power has declined. but even in the 2016 election we sell four states, arizona, colorado, maine and washington, has ballot measures to raise the minimum wage. this is not the first election in recent years we saw at the federal ticket level, the election going to republicans but by ballot initiatives, the people of the state voting to raise the minimum wage. there is an important message there for how people in those communities are thinking about how -- what is good for their economy. we also need to think about how we can make sure that their policies that help people get to work and stay at work. we need policies that help caregivers manage the responsibilities. hate family leave, paid sick days. during the presidential campaign, donald trump's daughter encouraged her father to focus on paid maternity leave, which was quite exciting for those who entered the about this for some time. i heard through the grapevine she wants to make this one of
6:10 pm
the president-elect's priorities. i don't know if it will happen, i don't how much power shall have or if we will see that, but given what we know about family economic stability, ensuring thoseathers as well as caring for aged loved ones is important. living to the top -- moving to the top, we need to talk about a tax policy in the united states that encourages investment and discourages rent seeking. conventional logic is that higher taxes on the wealthy will discourage them from investing, however researchers have been fighting something very different. i point to findings that a large share of the high pay of note in the top is
6:11 pm
productivity enhancing, meaning low taxes for the very rich is discouraging growth and encouraging people to engage in tax avoidance or paying a lot of lawyers, which not is not a cree , growth enhancing thing. toy pay large -- lawyers help you heidrick -- avoid your taxes. more.y pay themselves delusion that this current congress and administration are moving in that direction. there said that one of the number one priorities is to not only not raise taxes but to further lower taxes anonymously for those at the top of the income spectrum and do things like illuminate the state and gift tax. care about actually the economy, i strongly encourage people on both sides of the aisle to take a look at this research and try to understand what it is that low
6:12 pm
taxes at the very top are actually doing to our economy, investments and society. with a couple of more remarks and then i will stop. we areomists, i think heavily invested in models of how the economy works. the messiness of the real world and how economic outcomes shaped in the shape the institutions that set the rules for how our market works, that is how government works, how institutions within the community work, that is not whaty what we, that is not our discipline does and does not necessarily top of mind. it is exciting to see people start to think about that. i think in many of the economic trends i've highlighted, and in this recent election, should push us to better understand the role of institutions and trust in institutions and how this
6:13 pm
affects, how inequality affects them and how that in turn affects economic growth and stability. one thing is that while our model predicts, we can compensate losers in the economy. we can say that if we have a trade deal that is good overall for the economy and promotes for thend will be good united states, but some communities are devastated by a, we think as economists, you can compensate those folks, you can give them money or be training. thatard part is that hasn't happened in the real world. those families are not compensated to the extent of what they have lost. i was at an event in north carolina a number of years ago where a nice man stood up and talked about how his job had been lost in his community to some sort of trade something or other, and he got some retraining and he was excited about that, but whatever he'd been retrained for, that was
6:14 pm
also leaving his community. what he was worried about was not just himself, because he could move, but the community here lived in and all of the other people there. i think we haven't spent nearly enough time understanding the massive dislocation that millions of people in america feel from the kind of economic growth we've seen. it is one thing to say we can give people a couple thousand dollars in trade adjustments, give them some unemployment insurance, but that does not rebuild their community and does not create economic vitality. the only alternative i think for us is to say, just move, and that is what a lot of the best and brightest and youngest do and that leaves the community without that talent and vitality. i think we have to take more seriously what does inclusive growth mean. what does inequality mean, and how are we actually come in the real world, not in the model, how are we actually going to deal with the consequences of
6:15 pm
some communities benefiting from it -- from economic growth and others not? [applause] >> i think we learned a number of things. first of all, it is apparently possible to get an aerobic exercise while doing an economic lecture. there is a lot of talk about how academics are getting obese because they don't get enough exercise, so i want to commend you, you have been a role model for all of us. the second thing i am reminded that you can always boil be things down to simple observations come and one of them is that we in america want all of the good parts of the european economy in energy bad parts and europeans similarly
6:16 pm
won the good parts of the american economy and not the bad parts. is, you have to chettiall of the work raj has done. we're going to have a short discussion and i will leave time for a few questions at the end. i believe leave you with something heather said, she argued that the amount of inequality we have in the united states is now an impediment to the kind of innovation and growth you would like to see. do you agree? >> absolutely. i thinkthe problem -- france, for example, and the u.s. do not have the same starting point. you should probably raise minimum wage, probably you should raise bargaining power and negotiations, and probably you should raise the tax rates.
6:17 pm
in france, we have a different situation because capital is overtaxed in france. 144 rates onave their income. and also a can be extremely high. that has prevented growth did not give us more social mobility. you have less social mobility in france than neighboring countries. minimum wage is another thing you mentioned. i'm sure you need to raise it here. in france, the problem is the minimum wage has gone up faster than productivity. the problem is that, if you were to draw a curve or you have on the horizontal axis minimum wage and on the vertical axis social beyond a certain level of minimum wage, you discourage hirings. that reduces social mobility.
6:18 pm
you need other things. in france, we have the minimum income, you have other instruments to complete the minimum wage when it reaches a certain level. we could discuss those things, but you see -- i agree. you mention education, of course compared to sweden and canadians, there is very interesting work showing that the gap has gone up. hasfordable institutions exacerbated the increasing wage inequality in the u.s. >> your argument is we have too much inequality and healing grief -- you agree it is an impediment to growth? >> i agree. it comes to a point where mobility is impaired.
6:19 pm
>> there was a pretty compelling case that if we focus too much on reducing inequality, we may have a more equal society but we will lose some of the growth that will have more goods and services to share. you emphasize very much all the things you thought we should do to reduce inequality. are you at all concerned -- when better off with more inclusion and growth? yes, i think would be great to have both. it is a matter of degrees. you need a little bit of inequality, but too much is a bad thing. i think you're in the united states, we have tipped over the edge where you have less economic mobility and you have very high inequality.
6:20 pm
a lot of very high incomes are more about rent seeking. >> wouldn't we be better off with a faster growth rate even if we didn't -- didn't have less inequality? >> i take seriously the new data just released. i do not think it is acceptable to have the united states going at -- growing at this rate. why do we have growth? what is the point? isn't the point of having an economy so that people can -- >> when they talk about any quality i think we need to be clear. there are measures of inequality. there are several measures of inequality.
6:21 pm
[indiscernible] there is another statistical measure of inequality, a surety top -- a share of the top 1%. then you have social mobility. they have a relationship between them. that where, we know you have more social mobility, you tend to have less inequality. it.can find it -- was very surprising is that in areas of u.s. were you have more sociable ability and less inequality, you have a higher share of the top 1%. compare a place in california to some place in alabama, you have more social mobility.
6:22 pm
but also the share of the top income is higher. you talk about inequality, i think we need to be clear, which one am i concerned about. the very rich is not a problem for me. what is important is that reform boosts growth. i think even if it might increase top income inequality. the guy who has top income may use it to prevent future innovation, and then we go into with- but then you deal taxation and competition policy. that companies could finance with no limit, that was very bad. appealinge a very point in your presentation that we should come up with some tax
6:23 pm
system that did not penalize new did or other innovators but penalize the artistic make it less likely. how are you going to do that? >> there are various ways. special -- special tax for real estate, for example. that is away. don't -- donald trump would not like it. i don't present here -- pretend to redo the roof -- review in one second. are certainly ways, you have r&d tax credits, or you may have distinguish. can
6:24 pm
we do a lot of work on tax , there was a paper, it can mount recently -- came out recently. they showed that the maximum marginal tax rate has an impact on the mobility of inventors. sweden, they reduced the maximum amount of tax, they lowered it to 57, and they put income tax f flat 30% -- at a flat 30%, it was a boost.
6:25 pm
maybe if you can increase the marginal tax rate, you would get some innovation, but if you go directly to where you are to where sweden was before 1990, and that you will have bigger tax there. to any oft to respond the 50 things he just said? please don't respond to all 50. that -- yes, i've seen that study. where we are in the united states is much lower marginal tax rates at the top. i think we always have to ground this in the reality of where we are now, which is -- would you say that taxes and france were at 140% over capital, that is ridiculous. we do not want to go from where we are to their so quickly. that does not change the fact that you could increase taxes at the top and you could also be thinking about how you could
6:26 pm
conceive of attacks that rewarded innovation. -- a tax that rewarded innovation. you could start by thinking about property and estate and gift taxes, they are all about social mobility. united states was first in the developed world put together those kind of taxes in the early part of the 20th century and that is something that has completely reversed. that is not a recipe for innovation, that is a recipe for allowing a small number of american families to not only have the wealth that to keep it in perpetuity. me, asking to economist to talk about policy is somewhere between dangerous and foolish, but you had a wonderful line, felipe -- phi
6:27 pm
llipe. another way to look at it is is a recipe for more distribution and more innovation and more competition, all of that seems to be very unsettling to people. created distraction is -- creative destruction is not welcome if you are being destroyed. it does not seem to be politically popular in a democracy to have the kind of her firm -- reforms either of your talking about. no one could be against more innovation and a greater distribution of the prosperity that innovation brings, but how do you respond to the rise of marine le pen, the rise of theld trump, brexit, republicans have complete control the congress. what both of you are enunciating do not seem to be sellable to
6:28 pm
democracies in advanced economies. so now what? >> even though they remain popular, if you look at polls, policies like raising taxes on the very wealthiest or making it harder for companies to ship their jobs overseas through the tax code, these are things that americans want. there was one candidate who had an inclusive growth policy agenda and then there was donald trump, and most people voted for her but donald trump one. so i think your question is out. i don't have a good answer yet. -- i think there are various things. certainly say everybody goes to a very good school. on -- they have done
6:29 pm
very good work on the quality of teachers. teacher quality is very important. in finland, to be a teacher, you need to go to high school and then five years in university in 18 months of training and you are regularly retrained. missiles andn or very well in -- enormous amounts and very well in education. you have very high quality education. then you have a retraining system in the labor market that works. you have a security system. you have this a sick education where you learn how to learn. on top of that, you put a very good system where when you lose your job, you get id percent of your salary. .ou get -- 90% of your salary you are always in contract with someone.
6:30 pm
you leave the thing very differently. >> you've had a conservative government and a socialist government -- >> in france, don't listen to anything they have said. they screwed up. [laughter] >> they did not do it. where they did it, in denmark and other -- my hope is that we can sell those. neither of you mentioned the word immigration once. his immigration a good way to get innovation to end monopolies? is it a good way to spread the
6:31 pm
>> is it a good way to reduce inequality or not? >> it depends on how you do it. in this country, we have a lot of people who don't have the right to work, which makes it impossible for them to have good jobs or they are not secure in their rights as workers. labor laws are not necessarily enforced in those cases, so that makes, than that does pull apart inequality, but we know that when communities have influxes of immigrants, it is growth enhancing. they bring a lot of new ideas and that could be a really good thing. there are people with talent all over the world who like to go to different places. it is how you deal with dislocation and the rules of whether or not someone can actually work. if you are going to let them work, that is the growth announcing thing. >> i very much agree. sayink a country where you no emigration, you condemn yourself. one big problem japan has is they have an aging population.
6:32 pm
it makes it less prone to innovate and to change the structure. newgration brings you ideas. if you look in france for example, the big celebrities of france, many came from other countries. parents, unbiased, but my mother created herself in france. they came with ideas. she was from egypt, ok. names,ople came with big and in history. barcelona, we don't know. [laughter] -- the wholee came thing is to manage it. you need to have a policy to manage to say, you know, how many, there is a working immigration, the human rights immigration, and you have to have a policy to manage it, to make sure you integrate them
6:33 pm
operably and treat them properly. i think you did well manage immigration. we agree on it. >> do it have a mic somewhere? i will take three questions and they better be short. any answers better be short. this gentleman in the aisle and this gentleman here. tell us who you are. >> i am dr. sam hancock of emerald planet, emerald planet tv. we talked about innovation and renewable energy and the more energy phenomena, and then also green agriculture. that is where many of the jobs are, and that is usually at the middle, lower middle class person. >> thank you. past the mike over to this -- the mic over to the general here. >> i am rick rybak. it want to encourage investment.
6:34 pm
in this country, we have a property tax, and we think of it as one tax that is really two. it is a tax on privately created values and improvements and publicly created value and land. have, withoutes changing the total revenue, reduce the tax rate on privately created building value while increasing the rate on publicly created land revenue. they create wonderful incentives for job creation, more affordable housing. wondering if either of you thought about this. independent consultant. post inclusive growth, how would you evaluate basic minimum incomes versus the dollar for training, which is harder to calibrate specifically, the labor market. >> we will say one more, in the back. the guy right there.
6:35 pm
say new york. >> i am at the federal reserve. this question is for philippe. they talk about the creative destruction process when they covered about during a financial crisis, defaulters take on the integrity of the risk in a debt contract. i want to find out your thoughts on an index contingent debt contract and whether that would in a for better quality destructive process. heather,e start with the trade-off between universal basic income and spending money on social programs like training and education. do you have a view? i think that it is an interesting conversation. i have to bring initial reactions when i think about the basic income guarantee.
6:36 pm
the firm is no better than we do in what they know. firms do less training in a decreasing amount of overtime because community colleges and have an information asymmetry there. i would like to encourage firms that isre trading and sort of a different kind of agenda. around the basic income, i think the most important thing is that we provide for people who don't have jobs now but also keep our eyes on the prize that most people want to work and have jobs, and we don't get too enamored with this. there is so much excitement about this right now, at least they keep reading about it, and i want to make sure we are focusing on making sure every job is a good job so we are thinking about the earned income tax credit alongside that. >> income contingent or? philippe: i agree.
6:37 pm
i think it is a very good proposal. i am a big fan. i fully agree with what they propose, so i have nothing to comment because i think i cannot publicly ino i am the same direction. someone asked me about renewable energy. we are doing work on that. this is all, you know, -- we work with each other. [crosstalk] [laughter] caller: i compete. we did an interesting study where we showed a clean and in the auto industry. those who have done innovation in the past and keep doing what
6:38 pm
they used to do, you tend to keep doing -- that is what we call dependence. you need the state to redirect progress. ,e did not talk about so far but that is a very important question and i will come back to that. you need the state to redirect it. because you have two externalities, one is a knowledge externality. when you haveood to externalities so you have more than one instrument to deal with them. we saw that it is the combination of a carbon tax and direct subsidies to bring in innovation. it is a very important thing because the thing is, when you factor in innovation, even when you debate, i don't want to bother people on this, that the
6:39 pm
bottom line is when you factor in innovation, even with a discount rate, you want to do it. if you don't act now, not only you pollute, but you make the technologies go even more ahead of the clean technologies and it will become more costly to later on redirect use. it is like if you wait to go to the dentist, you get a cavity which becomes bigger. you want to deal with it. when you factor in innovation, you need to act now even with a discount rate because not only you create bad production externalities, but you induce more dirty innovation in the future. there is a role of research there, but also innovation. when you know believe in innovation, you are in a bad world. the only way to reduce innovation is to stop growing.
6:40 pm
when you have innovation in your but i i cannot escape need to direct innovation towards clean innovation. in france, we have a debate. there are those who believe that the state is in charge of law and order and we drop everything , but just to give you an example that you need to stay whenever you have externalities to deal the climate externalities and go beyond it. mr. le corre: with that, please join me in -- ppe andg both phili heather. brookings was very appreciative of the french government helping to make this possible and when you leave, there are coffee cups and papers at your feet, you would make our maintenance staff happy and reduce inequality of
6:41 pm
happiness at brookings. [laughter] [indistinct conversation]
6:42 pm
>> this week on c-span, tonight at 8:00, jerry greenfield talks about created and responsible business practices. if we could not tell enough ice cream in the , that forced us to look for other markets. >> wednesday night, dick cheney on the futureta of the depends department under president-elect donald trump. >> i think the challenges are
6:43 pm
very great and we have, unfortunately, done serious damage to our capabilities to be able to meet those threats. >> living in that. period, there are a lot of flashpoints and the new administration will have to look at back underworld and obviously, define policy that we need in order to deal with that, but then, developed the defense policy to confront that kind of work. >> thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, a look at the career of white pence. >> the shifting sands, we have stood without apology for the sanctity of life, the importance of marriage, and the freedom of religion. aton friday night beginning 8:00, farewell speeches to several outgoing senators including harry reid, barbara boxer, kelly ayotte, and dan coats. this week in primetime, on c-span.
6:44 pm
>> this week is authors week on "washington journal," featuring segments with a new author each day. on wednesday, other carol anderson will talk about her book, "white rage, the unspoken truth of our racial divide," and on thursday "twilight warriors," revolutionizing the american way of war. "the politics of resentment," the rise of scott walker. on saturday, two authors will join us. tom was "a nation of nations: the great american immigration story," and "the end of white christian america," and "shall we wait the president: two centuries of disaster management from the oval office." watch it: 30 a.m. eastern.
6:45 pm
at 8:30 a.m. eastern. were an aberration and we are now coming back to reality. >> in the studio, it is authors week on the washington journal and we are joined by mark ,evinsohn, author of the book an extraordinary time, the end of the postwar boom and the return of the ordinary economy. it is an economihistory of the world since world war ii and you argue that history can be divided into two parts. what are they? >> the quarter-century after time of the was a very rapid economic growth, perhaps the fastest economic growth in world history. a lot of people all over the world became very prosperous very quickly.
6:46 pm
that had some political ramifications. people thought things were good. people thought their children are going to have a better life than they did. then, after 1973, things slowed down around the world in quite a remarkable fashion. the era of slow growth, slow productivity improvement, a feeling that maybe, our kids will not have it back good. .nd that is still with us today i think we still have the memories of the good times of what i refer to as the golden age, the 1948-1973 period, but we are in an era of much slower economic growth. >> what made this golden age so different from past booms? >> we had a remarkable productivity growth. that is the key ingredient in how economies grow.
6:47 pm
that is using resources, labor, -- naturaltural look resources more efficiently. in the postwar period, we had unusually fast productivity growth. thatwas helped by the fact we had a lot of underutilized resources. people forget now, but in the united states, we had 3 million new walls on farms at the end of world war ii. were actuallyople walking behind the walls, -- mules planning farms. landd a pretty awful transportation system after world war ii. we invested heavily in what became the interstate highways. all of a sudden, the transport cost became much more reasonable to practical ship goods across the country. workers could commute.
6:48 pm
that helped productivity. around much of the world, we had low education levels at the time of world war ii. in the years after the war, most of the wealthy economies spent very heavily on education and that had great games in terms of -- great gains in terms of productivity. this is low hanging fruit. you cannot do these things again. we can continue to improve education, but giving people an extra few months or year of education does not have the same effect as taking people who have fifth-grade educations and raising the education level to everybody to high school. building a new exit does not have the same effect on the economy as building the interstate in the same place. productivity growth has slowed down and all of the industrial economies since 1973. host: in that golden age, as you call it, from after world war ii
6:49 pm
to 1973, it lasted for so long. you write your book economic miracles do happen, but in most times and most places, economies grow slowly, bringing a gradual improvement in living standards punctuated by sudden bursts of thathoria and recessions throw unneeded workers on the street. this went on for a quarter century. why did it last so long? guest: that is a remarkable thing about it. we had a number of countries that went for more than 25 years without a single recession. even in countries where there were recessions, they were quite a mild. we had it expanding welfare state in most countries that gay ve families, average families, a greater sense of security. all of the things were possible because we had this period of sustained productivity growth that went on year after year, and no one was particularly
6:50 pm
paying attention to the fact that we had exhausted those options. this easy productivity growth haltof came to an abrupt and that is what made the time after 1973 so different from the time before. host: we are talking about both of those times as we talked to marc levinson, author of "an extraordinary time. the end of the postwar boom and the return of the ordinary economy." inviting our viewers to join the discussion as well as we talk about this economic history of the world. republicans can call (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. marc levinson, what happened in 1973? what was the turning point? guest: what the turning point was was not what people thought the turning point was. was the year the first oil 1973 crisis. we had the beginning of the
6:51 pm
kippur waror -- yom in the middle east. the arab oil producers launched an effort to raise the price of oil and embargoed oil shipments to the united states, the netherlands, and several other countries seen as supporters of israel. we had an energy crisis here and around the world. the price of oil went up a lot. and people naturally associated the oil crisis with the economic slump that followed. but it turned out that the oil crisis was really just masking more fundamental problem, and that was that we had stopped getting these easy productivity education levels in most countries have gotten pretty high. universities have been expanded considerably. there were still improvement, but they were coming much more slowly. i 1973, most of the from workers around the world had moved into industry. these people had moved from the
6:52 pm
land to the cities and were doing a more productive work in the industrial sector of the economy. had had traded liberalization very significantly during the 50's and 60's -- 1950's and 1960's which improved productivity. we had disagreements through the general agreement on tariffs and trade during that period, and exports forced companies to become more efficient, and so, all of things had gone on, and we had pretty much gotten to the end of that by 1973. and so, underlying the oil crisis, to which everybody was paying attention, was a productivity slump which people were not paying so much attention to, and that turned out to be the cause of slower growth in the years after. host: as countries tried to counter this slower growth, did a free market prove better at that, better better than a planned economy or more interventionist government? guest: one of the fascinating things about the stories that it
6:53 pm
took a few years after 1973 before people realize this was not just another garden-variety recession. that in fact we had moved on to a slower growth path around the world. excuse me. course, voters were not happy about this, and we saw, in one country after another, people coming forth with alternative solutions. during the period between 1948 and the early 1970's, most countries were run by what i would call liberal or social democratic types of governments. these were countries that believed in a market economy but estat state having a very important role in developing the economy. we start to see two different things as people got frustrated with the inability of this model to continue to deliver economic growth in the 1970's. one was we saw in france, a big turn to the left. a seriously socialist government that nationalized a lot of
6:54 pm
industry, promising it would accelerate economic growth, and well, that did not work out very well in france. we saw in a lot of other countries, great britain, the united states, germany, sweden, japan, and several others turned to the right were politicians came in, saying, if we have smallervernments , government, more deregulation, that will bring us faster productivity growth and that will stimulate the economy and raise living standards. the track record of that was not very good either. so, we had this situation in which people were desperate for solutions. they knew the previous model of a big, activist government with a free market base was not working out as they try different things to speed up economy. basically, none of the proved successful. host: people still looking for solutions today to some of the se same problems. we're talking about the golden age, today's economy, and what
6:55 pm
changed, what the difference was, with marc levinson, author of the book, "an extraordinary time." we will be talking about the economic history of the world the next 45 minutes. charleston,rth south carolina. a democrat, go ahead. caller: how is everybody doing? well, it is more of a comment. you know, parents being in their mid to late 70's and science and mathematics is what we can learn . i'm bringing this up because the information i received from my parents is another reference instead of reading it in a book or going to the computer, these are eyewitness account. s. i really hope, even though i do not agree with election, that the president-elect will start
6:56 pm
to implement the building of infrastructure. i feel like that is really paramount and maybe it could help resurrect a faster health. host: appreciate that. i want marc levinson to pick up on that with investments in infrastructure and how they have created to the economic booms or they have tried to stop the slow times. guest: we had in the 1950's and 1960's investment in infrastructure in the united states and around the world that invested in the economy. it was poor and we had to build airports. there were a lot of two lane roads where traffic was very slow. it could take a week or more to drive across the country that then. the infrastructure investment had a very, very substantial effects on economic growth and it improved productivity in our country and other countries. if we were to spend a lot of money on infrastructure today,
6:57 pm
it might well have some positive impact on productivity. i think it would be less than in the 1950's and 1960's because our basic transportation system is in much better shape so we will have much smaller gains. this does not say it's a bad just says weit need to be more realistic in terms of what the impact will be. host: rick is in schenectady, new york. go ahead. caller: i am an economist. i think your book has been long overdue. i really appreciate hearing all of this. can i just add one thing that perhaps you might want to talk about a little bit more is that in the late 1960's and early there was an enormous amount of 1970's, inflation. we had the vietnam war, and then we had johnson increasing fiscal spending without any balance at all, and the inflation had taken off. and there really as the
6:58 pm
in 1973, i wasan a student of recovery, recessions and recovery. anyway the point is, when it , happened, the federal reserve did not really have tools anymore to stop because we had runaway inflation, along with a substantial decline in gross national product. can you comment on that a bit? please. guest: one of the interesting things as a historian is to put yourself back into the mindset of the time. and in those times, we had a very different understanding of inflation than today. today, i think most people would say, inflation has to do with the monetary policy and the federal reserve's job is to deal with inflation. back then, the discussion was really quite different and very complicated public policy.
6:59 pm
we had something called cost push inflation. the idea was that businesses were raising prices and that was causing inflation. so how did you deal with that? well if you were a president or , prime minister, you would tell labor unions they should not demand such higher wages. you would tell business they should not raise prices. you should impose a price freeze. we tried that in the united states and many countries try the same thing. all of those things were meant to kill off cost push inflation. whereen we had some idea the idea was demand inflation was due to companies borrowing too much to invest too much in their businesses. you made credit hard to get and that was the solution. these were treated as different beasts, and then, you had monetary inflation.
7:00 pm
you had all of these policies we would think of as bizarre today. i do not think any president today would stand here and lecture a labor union saying you need to ask for smaller wage increase because otherwise you are going to cause inflation. that is certainly what we had going on in the 1960's and 1970's. today, i think we have an understanding that inflation is really caused principally by monetary policy and it is something the federal reserve system or other central banks can deal with, but then again, we are not expecting the other central banks to do miraculous things that are beyond their which is something we expected 1960's and early host: marc levinson has been 1970's. writing about these issues for many years. he was the former director at "the economist" and author of five books, including the one we are talking about, "an extraordinary time," and "the
7:01 pm
box." steve, republican, go ahead. caller: my name is dave. question, i am not an economist. i have had some financial background. i understand the concept of productivity. i would like to see if you have another book that put something in that would say about how does that really affect the average individual? i know you have probably heard that in many cases from someone that does not have an economic background, but i would like to dovetail that in with other factors we have changed in our economy in the 1970's. we started moving to a throwaway economy. we just threw them away and bought a new one. we round up with government became more argumentative, republicans and democrats did not work as well together certainly in the last 15 or 20 years. and you have got other things. when you have a throwaway economy, you are obviously throwing away resources you made
7:02 pm
and if you try to replicate it it will take something out of it , as an individual trying to live with a certain standard. productivity can go up, but if you have got -- you do not have the jobs anymore and people cannot afford the wages that they are getting paid and with the technology, computers, and robots, this all dovetails into productivity. these kinds of things is where the rubber meets the road for the average consumer. our economy is a large percentage of consumer buys how , do we get out of this and focus on productivity and not recognizing how we are wasting our resources and we are buying adult toys rather than necessities of life? guest: i think dave has raised an important point. the productivity growth underlies the overall performance of the economy, if but it does not have much to do
7:03 pm
with the distribution of income. one of the trends we have seen since the 1970's is that the distribution of income has changed in almost every country of the world. the 1950's and 1960's and early 1970's were unusual that the -- in the sense that the productivity gains were shared through the economies. not just a few people felt they were getting better off, everybody felt they were getting better all. -- better off. in more recent times, the productivity gains have really benefited a fewer people in the economy. you can do the math yourself and see the problem. if the economy is growing at say 5% per year, some people are going to do better than that and some people will do worse than that, but everybody will end up feeling better off at the end of the year. if the economy is growing 1.5%-2% a year, it is likely some people are going to be below zero.
7:04 pm
that is the situation we have been in the last few decades. i think the distribution of the income produced is very significant, but we have to look at that against the background of a national income just growing much more slowly than it was it the 1950's and 1960's. and early 1970's. i do want to touch of one other point that they've made the -- which is ahere, comment about the u.s. government basically becoming, he do not use the word but "dysfunction" or argumentative is what he said. these underlying trends about slower economic growth and some of the distributional issues are actually worldwide problems. ok these are not simply u.s. , trends. i think one of the things that happens in the united states and in most other countries as is people look at their navels. they say we have this problem and it is due to something happening here. if you look the trend toward
7:05 pm
slower productivity growth, it happened in every one of the advanced economies. and that tells you there is something more going on here than what congress is or is not doing or some federal government regulation. there is some underlying economic issue at stake here. host: one of those viewers watching and tweeting and want to navel gaze at the united states, asking, what was the best decade for amerco from world war ii until now -- amerco from world war ii until now, talking about productivity? guest: productivity, we had a very good growth in the 1960's and early 1970's. it turned out the 1973 was at the peak year for productivity growth, economic growth, and the entire world. host: back to the calls. another dave. is in lake charles,
7:06 pm
louisiana. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. this is for marc levinson. listen in the listening to you, , i noticed you do not bring up the three recessions we had in period.years time eisenhower gave us the freeway system and that put a lot of people to work, but other than that, it was not that much work. i was a carpenter. i had just finished high school in 1952. i was a carpenter. in the union, and the scale was not that great in louisiana. i did eventually moved to california, but anyhow, the recessions i am talking about were during eisenhower's reign
7:07 pm
at the end of his term at the beginning of his term, i am not sure. guest host: mr. levinson can probably tell us for sure. guest: we did have a recession. there were a couple during eisenhower's reign. they were shallow compared to later. they were quite brief. the economy went to pretty rapid growth thereafter. things changed dramatically after 1973. we had a pretty deep recession in 1974-1975. after that was over, the economy did not get back to where it had been before. it did not get th back to where it was before not in the united , states or in any other major country around the world. i think this is important. if you consider something like the unemployment rate just to give you an example, one of our favorite economies, germany, had an unemployment rate the began with a 0% in 1970's.
7:08 pm
it was below 1%. after 1973, never came close to -- close. the unemployment rate eventually went up to 7% and stayed there. we saw much of the same in france, unemployment rising in the u.k. none of the countries around the world were able to regain the level of prosperity they had in the previous period. unfortunately, again, a global development, so , a recessionave and we came out of it, we came out of it in the mid-1970's at a much lower plateau then going into it. host: with 40 years of perspective, can we look back and say, if this had been done differently, the golden age could have continued for five, 10, 15 more years?
7:09 pm
guest: i have a quote from alice revlon, head of the budget office for a while in the late 1970's, and she made the comment that you can say we didn't do a good job, but you can't say what we should have done differently. and i think that is the conclusion a lot of people have reached as they have taken a look at this period and economic -- this period in economic history. different countries were trying different things, people with difference ideas were advancing solutions to the productivity problem as ways to bring faster economic growth. none of thement achieved very -- none of them achieved very much. so i think that suggests that this is not simply an issue of a bad economic policy in one country or another. it is really some more fundamental economic forces to which, frankly, we don't have any solutions. i've got to say, this is a conclusion that makes many people uncomfortable. it's bipartisan discomfort.
7:10 pm
you hear, and i certainly hear from democrats saying, well, this is not good, we have a lot of people unemployed, the economy has to grow faster to put these people to work. you hear from people who are republicans who say, well, you know, if we had lower taxes and fewer regulations that would solve the problems and put people to work. there is bipartisan agreement that somehow the economy can grow a lot faster than it has grown, and i'm dubious about that. i think this is a limited amount we can do to juice up economic growth for very long. host: you're right. perhaps most important thing that vanished along with the golden age was faith in future. for a quarter century average , people in every wealthy country and in many poorer felt ones their lives getting better by the day. as the golden age became a memory and an era of good times for all. want to hear if viewers think that. edward is waiting in essex,
7:11 pm
maryland, line for democrats. go ahead, edward. caller: yes, i have two questions. one is, there was an author on author, whossian said that the gdp of the soviet union during that era was greater than the united states. and he didn't really go into detail. he said, well, you have you to -- have to buy the book to find out why. and elizabeth warren's book, she describes distribution of new productivity over approximately 40 year period and how middle , class was getting approximately 70% and then, my rationale is that with the 1% or 2% growth, as long as we're getting some of it, elizabeth warren says we stopped getting any, any growth, any benefit from new productivity, so those are my two questions. host: mr.
7:12 pm
levinson. guest: ok, to the question about economic growth in russia, i'm not an expert in russia, i think it is important to point out there was a period in which the russian economy grew very quickly. that wasn't necessarily good for most russian citizens, russia took a lot of resources and forced them into industry. it built huge industries, which had very large output. was it very good at producing things that consumers actually wanted? well, on that score, russia was a pretty miserable failure in the 1960's and or earlier 1970's periods, as well. but if you take a look at simply the sheer output in terms of the numbers of tons of steel or the number of square meters of textile, russia built sizeable industries and at a certain , point in time, that shows up
7:13 pm
as strong economic growth. that did not translate at all into benefit for russian consumers. and i think that is an important point to make. the russians were good at one aspect of this, building an industry. they were terrible at another aspect of this, which is making things people actually wanted to buy, which you have to do in a market economy and didn't have to do in a communist economy. host: in terms of the comment from elizabeth warren about productivity growth, i think the point, as i understand it, and i have not read her book, i think the point the fruits of u.s. productivity growth haven't been shared evenly, that is a fair point. guest: i think that is accurate. this is a question for our political system. i do want to point out, as i said earlier, that this gets much tougher when productivity growth is slow and economic growth is slow. when economic growth is fast, there is plenty for me and
7:14 pm
plenty for you, and we can all share. when economic growth is slow, if i'm going to get mine, maybe there is not so much there for you, and that is really more the situation we've been in the last few years. host: sun city, california, rudy is a democrat. thanks for getting up with us on "washington journal." caller: thank you, john. mr. levinson, your book is so interesting, when the sun coming up in california, i gallon buy -- i will go and buy it. i would like to find out if you believe and this is a question to you, if all the jobs are coming back to the united states? just plain and simple. are they going to come back to the united states? thank you. guest: rudy, i don't think that the phrase "coming back," is a very helpful phrase, because i don't think that describes the way economies work. we've got at this point a low unemployment rate in the united states, so most people here have been able to find jobs.
7:15 pm
the question is, will future jobs be developed in the united states, or will they be developed in other countries? i think there is some reasons to be pretty optimistic about what is going to happen to jobs in the united states. for one thing, i think people, the viewers of this program, i'm sure, are aware we've had a large development in automation and this is continuing. , we're seeing a lot more robots in industry. we're seeing a lot of jobs that can be done by computers effectively, and this has eliminated the advantage of cheap labor in many countries. it's really no longer necessary to take many kinds of products abroad to get cheaper labor and to provide many services from abroad to get cheaper labor because technology lets us do those sort of things in a relatively high wage country in the united states. so i think the u.s. has some advantage in these things,
7:16 pm
assuming we can keep our education system on the leading edge and continue to have a skilled work force. if you're thinking about you're going to see somebody announce that they're closing their factory in some other country and moving the factory to the united states and opening it here, if that is what you mean by "coming back," i don't think we will see much of that, but that is usually not the way economic change occurs. host: sally, wellington, ohio, and sally, good morning. caller: good morning. my question is, have you studied how the ceo's have made fortunes 80's,about the 1970's-19 i mean way over what they used to make. they're sucking the money out of -- instead of building more things, more vital things for people where they can find jobs, they're making comfortable, very comfortable salaries for
7:17 pm
themselves, even if they are fired, they get a buy-out plan or something. that, i think, to me, is not what i like to see in our country. guest: sally, i don't want to disagree with that, but i want to point out that the trends in ceo pay have been different in different countries around the world. ceo's have done better in the united states than a number of other countries, but we see the same trend in terms of slower economic growth, slower productivity growth, and -- in countries all around the world. so while the ceo pay may be an issue and you may think it may need to be more equitable, that probably does not have a huge effect on productivity growth in our economy or on the over tlt -- the overall rate of economic growth, that would be my guess. host: florida, clysta is waiting, independent. go ahead, christa. caller: hi. host: hi, go ahead. caller: ok, my question -- or my comment is this.
7:18 pm
i am a child of refugees from a communist country, and i also know a lot of people that are refugees from communist countries, and i think that is very hard to predict what is going to happen to us because of the fact that our election was hacked, and you know, we have been compromised as a nation the best nation. our -- compromised as a nation. the electoral process has been optimized by communists and that communism is also pretty high on the list of a lot of cabinet members. you know, they worked closely with putin and that sort of thing. for us to say what is going to happen, we don't know. host: marc levinson, perhaps you can talk about russia's economy today and the trends they are going in. guest: i'm hesitant to go there,
7:19 pm
i am certainly not an expert on russia's economy today. i think that these underlying issues that are not within the scope of my own work in terms of automation and in terms of the end of large-scale factory employment, and these kind of things, they are facing many economies around the world. these are, again, level trends. -- global trends. host: one thing you touch on is the impact of environmental regulations, and the push for more environmental regulation in the barkway on twitter says, one 1970's. generation gets all the fruits of post-war industrialization and the next generation to follow gets all the environmental fallout. can you touch on that? guest: i think there is something to that. excuse me. we have in the post-war period, a very poor environmental regulation. we had rapid industrialization that had negative environmental
7:20 pm
effects no question about it. , those things generally don't show up in the income statistics. those are not part of gdp but , they are real. we have had growth since the 1970's is because our country and most other advanced countries have put money into environmental work. we are spending money on pollution cleanup, on environmental control systems, we're spending money on better disposal of hazardous waste, and all those things divert money from other kinds of investments that might stimulate gdp, which doesn't mean they are bad investments, they are very positive investments for the health of the world. that is important to remind people that we measure economic growth, but economic growth, the way we measure it, isn't everything. gdp doesn't really capture how healthy we are and how happy we are. there is some other very
7:21 pm
important values. host: the bobby kennedy speech. guest: environmentalism is one of the values, important to have a clean environment, even if that doesn't show up in the national income account. host: warrington, pennsylvania, is next. carol, democrat, good morning. caller: yes, you mentioned world executives , are making maybe less money, but there doesn't seem to be appreciable difference in the way their economies are going. in european countries, they have a better safety net, they have a national health insurance throughout, and what impact, in the u.s. on the middle class and ifhe economy, would it have we were to adopt some of those safety nets that they have in the european economies? guest: that's a great question. i want to point out that the safety nets in many european economies have grown weaker over
7:22 pm
time. this tends to get lost in the discussion in the united states. but, for example, if you are a young person coming into the job market today in spain or italy or sometimes even in france or germany, you're likely to be offered a temporary job, you're not likely to be offered a career. you may be in the temporary job for a good while. you may have to change temporary jobs. and those temporary jobs tend to have fairly poor pay, they tend to have fairly poor benefits, so if you get a job in the regular economy, if i can use that word, if you become an employee of a big company in europe, you're doing pretty well. but if you're doing one of the temporary jobs, mini-job as they call them in some countries, you're not doing very well. you are struggling and have no security at all. i say that not to praise what is
7:23 pm
going on in europe, but to point out that the europeans are dealing with many same underlying economic trends we're dealing with. how do you stimulate the economy at a time of slow growth? well, you try things like , basically, reducing wages, which is what happens when you make people go into temporary kinds of jobs. you weaken the safety net in various ways. so we're seeing number of , european economy necessary -- economies in which retirement ages are going up, places in which the health benefits become less generous. these are similar trends to the united states. i think, on balance western , europe still has better social safety net than the united states has, but the same issues that we have in terms of sustaining the social safety net are evident in europe. host: 15 minutes left with marc levinson, talking about his
7:24 pm
"an extraordinary time: the end of the post-war boom and return of the ordinary economy." bob in kingwood, texas, a republican, go ahead, bob. caller: yeah, mr. levinson, i want to get your comment on i think you had mentioned unemployment was down. president obama did take advantage of that in his last press conference, but he said that unemployment was down. in fact, jobs are part-time jobs, are they not? and a lot of people who are working are not working very much and their pay is low, that is the first thing. the second thing is, with low interest rates, with zero interest in the interest rates, isn't that a false impression of what our gdp is? i mean for the last eight years, , we've had a low to no interest rate and the economy can't do anything. so what are your comments on that? guest: we've had in this country, serious growth in full-time jobs.
7:25 pm
there's still plenty of people who say they would like a full-time job, and they're working part time or they're out of the labor force because they can't -- they think they can't find a full-time job. but we've had a very good growth in full-time employment. the unemployment rate for college educated people begins with a two. it's really quite low by historical standards. and even for people with lesser educations, in many parts of the country, you see signs of labor shortage, parts of the country i've driven through lately where -- see help one in signs "help wanted" signs all over the place. we have seen improvement in the labor market. that doesn't mean there aren't further gains to be had there, and i think it would be great if more people who say they aren't in the labor market would come into the labor market. i think that will happen because we've seen wages starting to go
7:26 pm
up after a long period in which they didn't. in terms of the connection between zero interest rates and the gdp, i'm not sure what that is. clearly, we've had interest rates quite low, but again, going back to my comments earlier about inflation, i think most people now understand that the federal reserve's job is to mainly fight inflation. if there's no inflation in the economy, then there is not a great reason to worry about what interest rates are. if the feds see signs inflation is starting to pick up, it has to respond to that and encourage interest rates to rise. i think we've started to see that. we may have a gradual adjustment of interest rates here to what would be more normal levels by historical standards. if that happen necessary fairly -- that happens in a fairly gradual way, it will not hurt a lot of people, but this really
7:27 pm
depends on how the fed reads inflation. i don't think that there is really a connection between the zero interest rates and whether gdp growth is real or not real. i don't agree with that. host: south bend, indiana. james is waiting period go ahead. caller: good morning, marc. guest: morning. caller: like you to comment on couple quick points. number one, the word "capitalism" does not appear in the united states constitution, however, it is very clear in the preamble, it is the government's constitutional duty to promote the general welfare of the people. the you also correlate that top 10th of 1% than 300 million americans. can you put those three things together and speak a little bit on those what the pope frances called "devil's song," capitalism. guest: i don't want to pretend
7:28 pm
to be a constitutional scholar. and i think it is a fair reading that we have an economy that is mixed in a lot of ways. the government has important role, the private sector has important role. purists tell you this is not cap -- this is not really capitalism. some people will tell you it is too much capitalism. what we've seen around the world is that what we've got fairly -- what we've got is fairly similar to what most other economies have. there is a mixed economy with a significant role for government. the question we and many other economies are facing, is what should the role for government be, and a question that i discuss at some length in my book, "an extraordinary time," is whether making government smaller actually brings faster economic growth, whether it actually leads to higher productivity growth. the evidence based on what we've
7:29 pm
seen in various economies around the world in the last 40 years is there is not necessarily a connection. you see some economies in which government has a larger role and they have grown faster than economies in which government has a smaller role. and vice versa. so i don't think that one can , make a statement about this based simply on ideology. the reality is, the world is a messy place and different economies have had different rates of success, not necessarily related to the question of how big or how small the government is. host: clayton, north carolina, anne is up. independent. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. i would like to tell mr. levinson that i actually lived theoviet uni union in 1960's, and i am an historian,
7:30 pm
and i would like to tell him that it was a good life at that time in soviet union, and it was actually comparable with the united states of america. i even remember like in some journals, in magazines, and newspapers, we had a comparison with what we could buy for one , ruble and what we could buy , for one dollar, and it was exactly the same. and also i would like to tell time, that people were buying lots of things just like in the united states states. t.v. sets and refrigerators, everything was novelty. of course, in big refrigerator,
7:31 pm
t.v. sets, and also in soviet union, people had free housing and that they have free education and free healthcare and food was heavily subsidized. this country started out with a few rich land owners and had slaves and the slaves weren't free. they had to feed and house them and they were free. now, what do we have today? we have a few rich corporations and all they want to do is pay wages equal to or less than food and housing.
7:32 pm
are we now slaves to the corporations? guest: labor share is a piece of the pie that goes to workers has gone down in most economies. some of this may be due to factors specific to the united states, for example, a woman who called earlier mentioned c.e.o. pay. there may be things here in the united states that contribute to this. but there seems to be worldwide trend that contribute to this and workers have less bargaining
7:33 pm
power. this is due in part to technology. a company may offer you a job here in the united states. if you want more of a wage than it's willing to pay, they may shift that job. technology has made this possible andry duesed your bargaining power because it is no longer stuck. if that starts to happen, it
7:34 pm
would be a bish trend. host: israel is in kingston, new york, democrat, good morning. caller: good morning. i want to ask the direct corelation of energy scrudges and how it reflects to the effects of the g.d.p. if we produce more energy than we consume, we actually eliminate our financial dependence on resources. and it is healthy for the environment and the communities. and i want him to explain how energy drives area economic structure and the people allowed to produce energy, they can improve the economic structure of our communities and our global world. guest: in the period i'm writing about in my book, we have a very lengthy discussion of energy
7:35 pm
independence. energy independence was the code word in the united states in the late 1970's and the 1980's. we are going to produce all of our own energy and not import energy anymore into the united states and a number of other countries followed similar sorts of strategies and energy independence wasn't a terribly smart strategy. it was cheaper to import energy from other places than to produce it in the united states. many of the ways in which we tried to produce energy were fairly inefficient. energy production of all sorts were subsidized in the united states. that goes for renewables and fossil fuels and nuclear energy. these were not necessarily terrific investments from an economic point of view. i would not agree with the caller that energy is somehow a
7:36 pm
special part of the economy that needs special treatment, a different treatment from everything else. and i don't really think that the problems that we experienced ith energy in the 1973, 1974 period really had much to do with the slowdown of economic growth that followed. host: rich is in marion, ohio, republican, go ahead. caller: really good questions here.
7:37 pm
guest: the second question, the answer is no. the unemployment is not related to whether people are receiving unemployment benefits. the people that are asked when the department of labor surveys about employment is whether you have done work in the previous week and if not, whether you are able, available and ready for work. so if someone says that they have been looking for work and ready to take work, they are going to count as unemployed whether or not they are receiving unemployment benefits.
7:38 pm
host: we have been talking about that golden age that you study the history of in your book. how optimistic or pessimistic are you that we will see a golden age again? >> this is a good thing for people because this is beyond our control. one of the fantasies we have had does the government have the ability to control this sort of thing. and productivity growth comes out of the private sector and comes in unpredictable ways and shows up when we don't expect it and then goes away. if you look around the world today, you say where is the next spurt of productivity growth coming from. you can see artificial intelligence and virtual realities. right now, they don't have much effect on the economy.
7:39 pm
could they lead to a whole range of changes snr absolutely. when will it happen? i don't think anyone will tell you. we saw a period, three or four years of rapid growth in this country in the early 2000's due to computing and communications. suddenly, it changed the way business did business and had a great economic benefit. that may happen again. i'm not pessimistic and not in the no-growth camp at all. this isn't something that a president or prime minister can order up. can't predict this is going to happen next year. it's beyond our ability to control. host: the book "the extraordinary time" we appreciate your time this morning.
7:40 pm
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> live one-hour segments with a new author each day. wednesday, carol anderson will talk about her book. and thursday, twilight warriors with soldiers, spice and special agents. d on friday, the politics of resentment, rural consciousness in wisconsin. saturday, two authors will join us.
7:41 pm
>> jerry greenfield of been and jerries talk about creative and responsible business practices. >> because, ben and i wanted to have a little ice cream shop and we wanted to make and scoop ice cream to our customers and when we found ourselves becoming a business, we really didn't like it. you know for you guys who are students here of that age, you may have grandparents who lived through the 1960's and read about the 1960's in history books and peace and love and hippies and all that stuff, that was ben and me and we had negative feelings about business. and so we w

20 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on