NDN Economic Backgrounder - The Stimulus and Rhetoric of Recovery

While the President spent the week participating in an anti-climactic G8 summit - news at home has centered on the ever faltering economy.  While healthcare and climate change occupy congressional leaders, polls show that the top issues for most Americans remain the economy and jobs.   A number of NDN fellows have weighed in over the past few weeks about a realistic approach to growth:

  • The Lessons of LBJ and Robert McNamara for Barack Obama by Dr. Robert Shapiro, 7/9/09 – Dr. Shapiro cautions its time for the administration to put away best-case scenarios. He argues the indulgent optimism of LBJ and McNamara was responsible for the collapse of liberalism.  President Obama should take note and face the economic crisis realistically, appreciating the worst may be yet to come.
  • The Stimulus so Far by Michael Moynihan, 7/7/09 - Moynihan writes amidst debate of a second stimulus, that it’s important to keep in mind, we have yet to see the real impacts of the first stimulus plan yet.  Recovery will be dependent on how intelligently we invest recovery funds and how quickly we are able to do so.
  • Not taking the Presidential Eye off the Economic Ball by Simon Rosenberg, 7/2/09 - Simon argues the administration should abandon the rhetoric of recovery entirely. What America needs is a more modern and better economy - the very opposite of recovering what we had.  We must acknowledge that average Americans faced stagnated wages and economic insecurity long before credit default swaps and Bear Sterns dominated headlines.
  • Will Higher Savings Help or Hurt the Economy? By Dr. Robert Shapiro, 7/2/09 – Dr. Shapiro writes what happens to wages and incomes will be the critical test of the economic success of Barack Obama's presidency. If incomes rise, as they did in the late 90s, savings will help the economy. If wages stagnate as they did during the Bush years, high savings rates will only further slow growth.
  • The Economic Conversation Enters a New Phase: Putting Consumers Front and Center Now  by Simon Rosenberg, Huffington Post, 5/14/09 - Rosenberg writes that the Administration's turn in the national economic conversation from the plight of big institutions and the financial system to what is perhaps the most important part of the story of the Great Recession still is not adequately understood - the weakened state of the American consumer prior to the recent recession and financial collapse.
  • Should We Try to Save the Damaged Brands? by Simon Rosenberg, 4/30/2009 - Rosenberg asks if these mainstay, now troubled American brands - AIG, Chrysler, Citi, GM - can be saved by being propped up by the government or if their brands are permanently insolvent.
  • Spend? Save? The debate continues, by Simon Rosenberg, 2/11/2009 - Building on a previous post  , Rosenberg follows the growing debate about whether American families should be focusing on saving.
  • A Stimulus for the Long Run by Simon Rosenberg and Dr. Robert Shapiro, 11/14/2008 - This important essay lays out the now widely agreed-upon argument that the upcoming economic stimulus package must include investments in the basic elements of growth for the next decade, including elements that create a low-carbon, energy-efficient economy.