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Good Economic Planning? Some See Major Crisis Coming
Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, and Stephen Roach have become economic prophets of doom. But the people who can do something about it don't believe in good economic planning.
Stephen Roach is the chief economist at investment banking giant Morgan Stanley and he is telling people privately that there is only a 10% chance that the U.S. economy can avoid armageddon, a total crisis. Record trade deficits, a falling dollar, huge budget deficits, the highest consumer debt in history, these are a few of the indicators. Economist Paul Krugman says the situation is so bad that the only bright spot in the re-election of George Bush is that further economic mismanagement may trigger widespread popular outcry that will force changes. Robert Reich writes:
Any talk of good economic planning and management leads to right wing hysteria on talk shows, for example, screaming about socialism. Get the government out of economic regulation, let the economy crash. These economic ideas are far from reality but they pervade the current administration which believes it has a "mandate" to cut taxes even more increasing the prospects for economic collapse.
The folks who voted for George Bush for "moral values" opposed to abortion and gay marriage may wish they had thought better about their own economic livlihoods if the predictions of these economists come true.
The above article was written 11/24/04. On December 6, 2004, James K. Galbraith adds his voice to the discussion at TomPaine.com in a piece entitled Apocalypse Not Yet where he says salvation lies not in macroeconomic management but in generating an actual new industrial policy for America. In the article he refers to The Levy Economics Institute which produces strategic papers which "trace out a range of possible medium term scenarios in order to evaluate strategic predicaments and policy options."
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