Rattner’s Charts: American vs European Productivity and Debt

by gradycarter

This edition of Rattner’s Charts seems to show a few different things:

1. Our labor force is very productive
2. Our debt is looking more an more dangerous for our country (not to say that it’s not already scary)

I have become a believe in Keynesian Economics in some cases (I think the car bailout was a pretty good example of saving an industry through the public trust when it’s the last option), but there has been a systematical mismanagement of our finances.

This conversation is usually overly simplified by people either saying that it’s because we spend too much, or by people saying that the people and organizations with the most money don’t pay their fair share. Could it be both? My personal opinion is that it probably is a mixture, and for this country to be saved it is going to take an electorate that demands a fixing of the dent issue, even though that will mean cutbacks on entitlement programs, and defense, and a more fair tax system.

One thing that a lot of people do not understand however is that when we do start paying our debts it will have the opposite effect of a stimulus, as it is saving money and not spending it to create more. It takes a balanced approach towards growth and paying down the debt, and that is going to be very hard. I think that is part of the reason that I’ve felt the need to stand up for President Obama sometimes, because he has been leading a slower than preferred recovery (which is inherently expensive due to social programs), and he has been the grownup in the room while being vilified for everything that he has done (which has usually been old Republican policies).

As an Economics major I didn’t learn hardly any vocational skills, but I am convinced that the citizens of this country need to be taught some basic economics, so that they aren’t tricked into giving away their vote…

In this country people might be unhealthy, and into reality shows, but we are not underworked compared to much of the world – we have the least number of days off in the ‘civilized world’. It’s time for our system to reflect our hard work.