tv Washington Journal CSPAN December 20, 2016 11:34pm-12:32am EST
talking to c-span. >> back here in the studio, it is author week on the washington journal. week and we are joined by mark levinson, a former editor. and author of the book, "an extraordinary time. the end of the postwar boom and the return of the ordinary economy." it is an economic history of the world since world war ii. you argue that history can be divided into two parts. what are they? guest: the quarter-century after 1973 war ii from 1948 to was a time of very rapid economic growth, perhaps of the fastest in world history. a lot of people all over the world became a very prosperous, very quickly. that had political ramifications. andle felt things were good their children would have a better life than they did.
and then after 1973, things slowed down around the world and quite remarkable fashion. growth, the era of slow slow productivity improvement, a feeling that maybe our kids will not have it so good. that is still with us today. i still think we have the memories of the good times as the golden age, 1948 to 1973 period. we are a time of slower economic growth. golden age, what made it so different from past bones? guest: we had remarkable productivity growth. productivity is the key ingredient behind how economies grow. productivity means essentially using resources, labor, natural resources more efficiently. and in the postwar period, we had four variety of reasons, fast productivity.
this was helped by the fact we had a lot of underutilized resources. in the united states, we had 3 million mules on farms after world war ii. millions of people were walking behind mules. those workers could mold into industry doing much more high productivity work with the modern equipment and produce a great deal more wealth. we had a pretty awful land transportation system after world war ii. we invest heavily in the interstate highways. transport costs became more reasonable and more practical to ship goods across the country. workers could commute longer distances to find better jobs. that helps 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 what economies spent heavily on education and this had great gains in productivity. you can think of this as low hanging fruit, once the things have been done, you cannot do them again. we can still continue to improve education, but giving people an year ofw months or a education does not have the same effect as taking people who had a fifth-grade education 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. proto-timothy growth does 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 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 punctuated by sudden bursts of euphoria. this went on for a quarter century. why did it last so long? guest: that is a remarkable thing. 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 families, average families, a greater sense of security. -- that a day for families, average families, a greater sense of security. it went on year after year. and no one was particularly paying attention that we had exhausted those options, the easy productivity growth came to an abrupt halt and that's what make a time after 1973 so
different than 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. mark levinson, what happened in 1973? what was the turning point? is not what people thought the turning point was. it was the year the first oil crisis. we had in the beginning of the war 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 supportive of israel. we had an energy crisis here and around the world. the price of oil went up a lot. people naturally associated the oil crisis with the economic slump that followed. but it turned out the oil crisis was really just a masking more fundamental problems. that was we started getting these easier productivity gains by 1973, education in most levels had gotten pretty high. universities had been expanded. there were improvements that coming more slowly. by 90's after three, most of the farmworkers workers had moved into industry. , most of the form workers had moved into industry. we had trade liberalization significantly during the 19th these and 1960's which improved
-- 1950's and 1960's which improved productivity. force companies to become more efficient. all of these things went on and we got into the end of that by 1973. underlying the oil crisis, which everybody was paying attention, was a productivity slump which people were not paying so much attention and that her doctor be the cause of slower growth. host: as countries tried to counter this slower growth, different market proved better than a planned economy are more interventionalists government? guest: one of the fascinating things, it took a few years after 1973 before people realized it was not another garden-variety recession and we moved to slower growth path around the world. and -- voters were not happy
about this. we saw in one country after another, people coming forth with alternative solutions. between 1948riod and the early 1970's, most countries were run by what i would call liberal or social democratic types of governments. countries that believed in a market economy but an activist state having a very important role in developing the economy. we start to see two different 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 socialist government than nationalized a lot of industry, promising it would accelerate growth. that do not work out very well in france. other countries, great britain, the united states, germany, sweden, japan
and several others turned to the right were politicians came in a if we have smaller 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. where a situation in 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 problems. we're talking about the golden age. today's economy. what was the difference 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. a democrat, go ahead. caller: how is everybody doing? well, it is more of a comment. being in the mid-to late 1970's and science and mathematics is --t we can learn because i the information i receive from my parents is another reference instead of reading it in a book or going to the computer, these are eyewitness account. i really hope, even though i do not agree with election, that the president-elect will start if lament the building of -- will start to implement the building of infrastructure. maybe it could help resurrect a faster growth in a.
host: appreciate that. i want marc levinson to pick up that with investments in infrastructure and how they have created to the economic booms or stop the slow times. guest: we had in the 1950's and 19 this is investment in infrastructure and the united days 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 that were slow and it could take a week or more to drive across the country then. the infrastructure investment had a substantial in fact -- impact and improve productivity in our country and others. if we were to spend a lot of money on infrastructure today, it might have positive impact on productivity. 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. it does not say it's a bad things to do, but we have to be more realistic in terms of the impact. host: rick. go ahead. caller: i am an economist. i think your book has been long overdue. i really appreciate hearing all of this. can i add one thinks -- one thing, in the late 1960's, there was an enormous amount of inflation. we had the economic war and johnson increasing fiscal spending without any balance at all and the inflation had taken off. 1973, recession began in recovery.dent of the
the point is, when it happened, the federal reserve did not really have tools anymore to stop because we had run away inflation, along with a substantial decline in gross national product. bit?ou comment on that a guest: one of the interesting things as a historian is to put yourself back into the mindset of the time. in those times, we had a very difficult -- different understanding of inflation than today. 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 quite different and very complicated public policy. called crossing push inflation. that businesses were raising prices and that was causing inflation.
how did you deal with that? if you were a president or prime minister, you would tell labor raise they should not wages. you would tell business they should not raise prices. we tried that. all of those things were meant -- priceff christ push push inflation. and we had some ink where 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 at the monetary inflation. you had all of these policies and would think of as bizarre today. i did i think any president today would stand here and lecture a labor union saying you need to ask for smaller wage
increase because you are what the cause inflation. that's what we had in the 1960's and 1970's. today, we haven't entered that data we have an understanding that inflation is caused by monetary policy and something the federal reserve or other central banks can you deal with. we are not expecting the other central banks to do miraculous things that are beyond their power which is something we expected in the 1960's. host: marc levinson has been writing about these issues. he was the former director at "economist" and author of five books, including the one we are talking about, "an extraordinary time." and "the box." steve, republican, go ahead. caller: my name is dave. question, i am not an economist. i have financial background.
i understand the concept. i would like to see if you have another book that put something in that would say about how does it really affect the average individual? i know you have probably heard it for many cases from somebody who does not have an economic background. in other factors will change our economy in the 1970's. we started moving in a four-way economy. governmentwith the became more argumentative. republicans and democrats did not work as well together certainly in the last 15 or 20 years. when you have a throwaway economy, you are thrown away resort -- you are throwing away resources and tried to replicate, it will take something out of it as an individual trying to live with a certain standard. productivity can go up, but if 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, it duck tales into productivity. wherekinds of things is the rubber meets the road for the average consumer. our economy is a large percentage of consumer, how do we get out of this and focus on productivity and not recognizing how we are wasting resources and we are buying adult toys there really the necessities of life? guest: he has raised an important point. the productivity growth underlies the overall performance of the economy, if he does not have much to do 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
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. in more recent times, the productivity gains have really benefited a few were 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 do worse thanll that. every body will end up feeling better at the end of the year. if the chronic -- if the economy is growing 1.5%-2%, it is likely some people are going to be below zero. and they will fill dirt living will feel-- and they that their living standards are slipping. the distribution of 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. i do want to touch of one other point. a comment about the u.s. government basically becoming, he do not use the word but or argumentative is what he said. these underlying trends about slower economic growth and some of the distributional issues are worldwide problems. trendsre not simply u.s. . i think one of the things that happens in the united states and in most other countries as people look at their neighbor. they say we have this problem and it is due to something happening here. if you look the trend toward slower productivity growth, it happened in every one of the advanced economies. that tells you there is something more going on here
than what congress is or is not doing or some federal government regulation. some underlying economic issue at stake here. host: one of those viewers --ching and tweeting 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. david and like charles, louisiana. caller: thank you for taking my call. mr. levinson, in the listening to you, i noticed you do not bring up the three recessions we
had and 25 years -- in 25 years. eisenhower gave us the freeway system. that, it was not that much work. i was a carpenter. i had just finished high school in 1952. i was a carpenter. , it was not that great and louisiana. -- in louisiana. the recession i am talking about was during eisenhower's for the end of his term at the beginning of his term, i am not sure. probably levinson can tell us for sure. guest: we did have a recession. there were a couple during eisenhower were'-- during
eisenhower. they were schaller -- 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. the economyas over, did not get back to where it had been before. not in the united states or in any other major country around the world. this is important. if you consider something like the unemployment rate just to give you an example, one of our germany, hadomies, an unemployment rate the began with a 0% in 1970's. close to3, never came an unemployment rate and it 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. host: with 40 years of perspective, can we look back had been done s ifferently, the golden age could continue for more year? guest: i have a quote from alice revlon, head of the budget late for a while in the
'70's, she made the comment that say we didn't do a good job, but you can't say what we have done differently. i think that is the conclusion a lot of people have reached as have taken a look at economic history. were trying ntries different things, people with advancing ideas were solutions to the productivity solution as ways to bring faster growth.c none of thement achieved very much. so i think that suggests that simply an issue of a bad economic policy in one it's really other, more fundamental economic forces don't have nkly we any solutions. i've got to say, this is a conclusion that makes many uncomfortable. it's bipartisan discomfort. certainly hear from democrats saying, well, this is not good, we have a lot people unemployed, the economy has to grow faster and
put these people to work. hear from people who are republicans who say, well, you and if we had lower taxes fewer regulations that would solve the problems and put people to work. -- there is bipartisan agreement that somehow the faster can grow a lot than it has own. and i'm dubious about that, i is a limited amount we can do to juice up economic long. for very host: you're right. perhaps most important thing hat vanished along with the golden age was faith in future. for quarter century, average wealthy country and poor ones felt their lives getting better. age became a memory and an era of good times for all. viewers think f that. edward is waiting in essex, democrats.ine for go ahead, edward. caller: yes, i have two questions. author c-span, russian
said the gdp of the soviet union thang that era was greater the united states. and he didn't really go into to buy he said, have you the book to find out why. and elizabeth warren's book, she distribution of new productivity over approximately period and how middle class was getting approximately and then, my rationale is that with the 1% or 2% growth, long as we're getting some of warren says we stopped getting any, any growth, any benefit from new productivity, so those are my two questions. levinson. guest: okay, to the question about economic growth in russia, russia, i expert in think it is important to point
period in which the russian economy grew very quickly. necessarily good for most russian citizens, russia resources and forced them into industry. which t huge industries, had very large output. it very good at producing things that consumers actually wanted? russia was pretty miserable failure in the '60s or periods, as well. but if you take a look at simply terms of theput in numbers of tons of steel or the meters of quare sizeable ussia built industries. and at a certain point in time, that shows up as strong economic growth. translate at all into benefit for russian consumers. that is an important point to make. the russians were good at one
an ct of this, building industry, they were terrible at another aspect of this, which is people actually wanted to buy, which you have to o 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. guest: the point as i understand it, vinot read her book, the u.s. the fruits of productivity growth haven't been shared evenly, that is a fair point. is accurate. this is a question for our political system. point out, as i aid earlier, that this gets much tougher when productivity growth is slow and economic growth is slow. economic growth is fast, there is plenty for me and lenty for and you we can all share. when economic growth is slow, if i'm going to get mine, maybe there is not so much there for that is really more the situation we've been in the last
few years. california, rudy is a democrat, thanks for washingtonwith us on journal. caller: thank you, john. mr. levinson, your book is so when the sun coming up in california, i gallon buy it. to find out if you believe and this is a question coming backjobs are to the united states? just plain and simple. they going to come back to the united states? thank you. guest: rudy, i don't think that "coming back," is a helpful phrase because i don't think that describes the way economies work. at this point a low unemployment rate in the united people here have been able to find jobs. he question is, will future jobs be developed in the united tates or developed in other countries? i think there is some reasons to
be pretty optimistic about what in oing to happen to jobs the united states. people, thing, i think the viewers of this program, i'm a e, are aware we've had large development in automation and this is continuing. more robots a lot in industry. we're seeing a lot of jobs that an be done by computers effectively and this has of inated the advantage cheap labor in many countries. necessary no longer to take many kind of products abroad to get cheaper labor and provide many services from abroad to get cheaper labor because technology let's us do sort of things in a relatively high wage country in the united states. the u.s. has some advantage in these things, ssuming we can keep our education system on the leading edge and continue to have force. work if you're thinking about you're
oing to see somebody announce they're closing their factory in some other country and moving factory to the united states here fthat is what you mean by "coming back," i don't think we'll see much of hat, that is usually not the way economic change occurs. host: sally, wellington, ohio, sally, good morning. caller: good morning. my question is, have you studied ceo's have made fortunes s-'80s, way the '70 over what they used to make. the money out of instead of building more things, more vital things for people where they can find jobs, comfortable, very comfortable salaries for themselves, even if they are fired, they get a buy-out plan or something. hat, i think, to me, is not
what i like to see in our country. want to lly, i don't disagree with that, i want to ceot out that the trends in pay have been different in different countries around the world. the have done better in united states than a number of other countries, but we see the in terms of slower economic growth, slower productivity growth and around the world. so while the ceo pay may be an may and you may think it need to be more equitable, that robably does not have a huge effect on productivity growth in our economy or on the over tlt all rate of economic growth, guess.ould be my host: florida, clysta is waiting, independent. christa. caller: hi. host: hi, go ahead. okay, my question -- or my comment is this. refugees from communist country and i also a lot of people that are
from communist countries and i think that is very hard to predict what is to us because of hackedt our election was and, you know, we have been as a nation the lectoral process has been compromised my communists and hat communism is also pretty high on the list of a lot of cabinet members. closely withy work thing.nd that sort of for us to say what is going to happen, we don't know. levinson, perhaps cutalk about russia's economy today and the trends they are in.g guest: i'm hesitant to go there, i'm not an expert on russia's economy today. think the underlying issues that are not within the scope of terms of k in automation and in terms of the
nd of large-scale factory employment and these things are facing many economies around the world. are, again, level trends. host: one thing you touch on is of environmental regulations and the push for ine environmental regulation the '70s. barkway on twitter says, one fruits ion gets all the of post-war industrialization and the next generation to ollow gets all the environmental fall out. can you touch on that? guest: i think there is to that. excuse me. e have in the post-war period, environmental regulation. we had rapid industrialization environmental ve effects, no question about it. those things generally don't in the economic statistics, those aren't part of.
go -- gdp, but they are real. since the growth '70s because countries put money into environmental work. are spending money on on ution cleanup, environmental control systems, e're spending money on better disposal of hazardous waste and all those things divert money investments nds of that might stimulate gdp, which oesn't mean they are bad investments, they are investments for the health of world. that is important to remind we measure economic growth, but economic growth, the way we measure it isn't everything. dp doesn't really capture how healthy we are and how happy we are there is important values. host: the bobby kennedy speech. guest: environmentalism is one of the values, important to have
a clean environment, even if hat doesn't show up in the national income account. good carol, democrat, morning. caller: yes, you mentioned around the world executives are maybe less money, but be e doesn't seem to appreciable difference in the way the economies are going. european countries, they have better safety net, they have national health insurance what impact, on the middle class and the have if we would ere to adopt some of those safety nets that they have in economies?n guest: that's a great question. i want to point out that the safety net in many european
economies have grown weaker over 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 spain or italy or sometimes even in france or be any, you're likely to offered temporary job, you're ot likely to be offered a career. ou may be in the temporary job for a good while. you may have to change temporary jobs. those temporary jobs tend to have fairly poor pay, they tend to have fairly poor benefits, so the regular job in economy, if i can use that word, become employee of a big company in europe, you're doing pretty well. if you're doing one of the jobs, mini-job as they call them in some countries, very well.doing you are struggling and have no security at all. praise what isto go og in europe, but to point ut europeans are dealing with many same underlying economic with.s we're dealing how do you stimulate the economy
at a time of slow growth? things like basically reducing wages, which is what happens when you make go into temporary kinds of jobs. you weaken the safety net in various ways. we're seeing number of european economy necessary which going up, ages are places in which the health benefits become less generous, are similar trends to the united states. western n balance europe still has better social safety net than the united states has, but the same issues that we have in terms of sustaining social safety net are evident in europe. host: 15 minutes left with marc western talking about his book, europe still has better social safety net than the united states has, but "an extraordinary time," the end of the post-war boom and return of the ordinary economy. kingwood, texas, a republican, go ahead, bob. aller: yeah, mr. levinson, i 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 not and a lot of people who are working are not working very much and their pay is the first thing. the second thing is with low zero st rates, with interest in the interest rates, of't that a false impression what our gdp is? for the last eight years we've interest rate and the economy can't do anything. o what are your comments on that? guest: we've had in this in try, serious growth full-time jobs. 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 the labor force because they
can't -- they think they can't job. a full-time we've had a very good growth in employment. rate for oyment college educated people begins with a two, it's really quite standards.orical lesser people with educati education, many parts of the country, you see signs of labor country parts of the i've driven through and seen help wanted posters all over the place. we have seen improvement in the labor market. hat doesn't mean there aren't further gains to be had there, it would be great if more people in the laboraren't the laborld come into market. i think that will happen because we've seen wages starting to go up after a long period in which didn't. in terms of the connection between zero interest rates and i'm not sure what that
is. clearly we've had interest rates quite low, but again, going back to my comments earlier about i think most people now understand that the federal job is to fight inflation. if there's no inflation in the economy, then there is not a reason to worry about what interest rates are. 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. gradual adjustment of interest rates here to what levels by ore normal historical standards f. that happen necessary fairly gradual way, it will not hurt a lot of people, but this really depends on how the fed reads inflation. i don't think that there is really a connection between the whether rest rates and
real.owth is real or not host: independent, go ahead. marc.r: good morning, guest: morning. caller: like you to comment on couple quick points. the word "capitalism" does not appear in the united states constitution, however tis very clear in the preamble, it is the government's constitutional duty o promote the general welfare of the people. correlate top 10 of 1% than 300 million americans. together and ese peak on those, what the pope "devil's dung," capitalism. guest: i don't want to pretend to be a constitutional scholar. is a fair reading we have economy mixed in a
lot of ways. the government has important private sector has important role. purists tell you this is not cap tappism, some tell you it is too much capitalism. what we've seen around the world we've got fairly similar to what most other economies have, there is a mixed with significant rule for government. the question we and many other economies are facing, what government ole for be and a question that i discuss book, "an gth in my extraordinary time," whether making government smaller actual faster economic growth, leads growth.r productivity the evidence based on what we've seen in various economies around last 40 years e is there is not necessarily a connection. economies in which government has a larger role and
they have grown faster than government which has a smaller role. vice versa. i don't think that one can make statement about this based simply on ideology. is a messy place and different economies have had ifferent rates of success, not necessarily related to the question of how big or how small is government host: clayton, north carolina, up. is go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. tell mr. ke to i actually lived n soviet union in the '60s and am a -- historian and i would like to tell him that it was a at that time in soviet it was actually comparable with the united
america. like in some r journals, in magazines and comparison we had with what we could buy for one buy for what we could ne dollar and it was exactly the same. would like to tell him that of le were buying lots things just like in the united states states, t.v. sets and efrigerators, everything was novelty. refrigerator, g t.v. sets and also in soviet hel free housing and hat they have free education and free healthcare and food was
subsidized. host: ann's view from inside the soviet union. ann, i thank you, appreciate that, i'm sure the viewers here will appreciate soviet economy. host: california, lou, is a republican, go ahead. caller: hi. thanks for taking my call. this country started out, you land with a few rich white owners and they had slaves and free, they had to they weren't free. what do we have today? a few rich corporations that all they want to do is pay wages equal to or less than food and housing. are we as working class of america now slaves to the apropriations? guest: i think, lou, what we've the world and united his is not just
states story. in recent decade, a larger share creates has conomy gone to owners of capital, labor.than owners of i discuss this issue at length n my book, what we refer to as labor share, a piece of the pie gone oes to workers, has down in most economies. due to this may be factors specific to the united tates, for example, this woman who called earlier mentioned ceo there may be things here in the united states that contribute to this, but there world-wide o be trends that contribute to this. one is clearly that workers have bargaining power. this is due in part to technology. okay. may offer you a job in the united states, if you want more of a wage than they are
illing to pay, may shift that job to another country. okay. technology has made this ossible and perhaps reduced your bargaining power as an individual because it is no longer stuck with just the local labor market, the company now may have a global labor mark xet if it can't get goods and services it wants at a price here tcan go to a different city them equally get well. i think this is one factor that decline in ead to labor share around the world. question is whether this starts to change. we've had evidence in the united in the last couple of years that maybe the labor share stabilizing oris even starting to rise a little bit f. that starts to happen in countries, it would be a very beneficial trend. kingston, new york, democrat, good morning. good morning.
thank you for c-span. i want to ask mr. levinson, direct correlation of energy consumption and how it relates gdp?ffects of for example fwe produced more actuallyan consume, we eliminate our financial dependence on resources. for the healthy environment and also the communities to do renewable energy. want him to explain how energy drives area economic struct and you are if people are allowed to can also ergy, they improve the economic structure of our communities and our world. ost: all right mrchlt -- mr. levinson. guest: in the period i'm writing bout in my book, we had a lengthy discussion of independent independence, it was word in the evidence in the late '70s and '80s for we're our own energy, not impocket energy anymore into
the united states. number of y that a other countries followed similar strategies. it turned out that energy wasn't a smart strategy. it was often cheap tore import energy from other places than to in the united states. of her factor is that many the ways in which we tried to fairly energy here were inefficient, heavily subsidized. fossil fuels and nuclear energy. these were not necessarily invest frment economic point of view. i would not agree with the energy is somehow a special part of the economy that needs special treatment, different treatment from everything else. and i don't think the problem we
xperienced with energy in the 1973-74 period with the oil boycott really had much to do down in economic growth that followed. host: time for one or two more calls. rich in marion, ohio. republican, go ahead. caller: yeah. questions there. don't we pay certain amount of energy for depending saudi countries in er the numbers? ther question is, if we have longer session like for three hit us olid square that really hard, would a lot of eople's benefits they would no longer be considered unemployed, wouldn't correct benefits in essence have zero unemployment everyone would be out of work. hangup and listen to the answers, thanks. guest: to the question whether
are subsidizing oil by protecting saudi arabia, this is outside my expertise and i don't want to pretend to give you an respect to your second question, the answer is no. unemployment rate is not related to whether or not people unemployment benefits. the question that people are asked when the department of surveys every month about have ment is whether you done work in the previous week and if not, whether you are able, available and ready for work. someone says that they have been looking for work and they are ready to take work, count as unemployed whether or not they are receiving unemployment benefits. about a minute left, talking about "extreme makeover" makeover" -- extraordinary age, that you studied in your book. optimistic or pessimistic are you that we will see the
golden age again? hard thing is a very for many people, i think this is something beyond our control, the fantasies we've had that since the 1950s is the government really had the ability to control this sort of thing. productivity growth comes mostly out of private sector and mostly in very unpredictable ways tshows up when we don't expect it and goes away. so if you look around the world today, you say, where is the next spurt of productivity growth coming from? see technologies, artificial intelligence, virtual others. many right now, these don't have much economy. the could they have? could they lead to a whole range of changes in business and overnment that increase productivity? absolutely. when will that happen? don't think anyone can tell you. that is the conundrum, we saw a
or four years of rapid economic growth in this country in the 1990s, early 2000s due to invest nment computeing and communication we years earlier.40 suddenly it changed the way business did business and it had great economic benefit. that may happen again. that.'t think we can know i'm not pessimistic, not in the no growth camp at all. say, this isn't something a president or prime can order up, we can't predict this will happen next year tis really beyond our control.to host: if our viewers want to "an more about it, extraordinary >> coming up on the next washington journal, we talk about president-elect trump's election of the education secretary.
herthen, carol anderson on book "white rage." washington journal is live each morning at 7:00 eastern on c-span. up next on c-span, a conversation on making economic growth more inclusive. we hear from the cofounder of ben & jerry's and then later, women on technology and innovation. >> sunday, january 1, in depth will feature a live conversation with president barack obama. we are taking your questions during the program. the host is april ryan.
princeton university eddie clout marinus.id watch "in-depth," on sunday on book tv on c-span two. economist talk about economic growth inequality and taxation in the u.s. and europe. we will hear from a harvard university professor at this event hosted by the brookings institution. am brucevening, i jones, vice president of the foreign policy department here at brookings. tonight's discussion will offer a transatlantic perspective on making gross more inclusive. economic growth has been at the heart of the post-cold war.
r period. we know the broad picture against the backdrop of a broad piece between the powers. 2013, billionsd of people moved out of poverty and into the middle class. some people benefited tremendously from this growth. 's race forwardon has raised questions about its impact. it has increased evidence that the gains have not been for all. in the wake of the financial discontent --ated the related discontent has a lot of populist movements to advance in europe and the united states.