Congressional Research Service: “Fiscal Policy and Recovery from the COVID19 Recession”

From the summary of the document, which reviews the literature and current macroeconomic state of play. Some key findings are germane to the current intra-Republican party debate over how to proceed with the current recovery package. I know it is the triump of hope over experience to think they will accede to expertise, but here goes.

Economic theory and empirical evidence suggest that stimulative measures tend to move the economy toward full employment as the economy recovers from the contraction, but that measures to reduce the debt (which would require the opposite types of policies, reducing the deficit) are better put in place when the economy returns to full employment. Some views hold that one of the “most significant policy mistakes”in recent times was a premature shift to this policy (termed fiscal consolidation, or austerity) that removed fiscal support from the economy following the Great Recessionwhen the economy was still well below full employment and inhibited economic growth in most advanced economies.

The effectiveness of fiscal policy in stimulating demand depends on the type of policy and how much immediate spending it produces. Government spending, grants to the states, or transfers (such as expanded and augmented unemployment benefits or transfers to lower-income individuals) are considered by most economists to be more effective than tax cuts to higher income individuals or businessesin certain circumstances because such individuals and businesses are less likely to spend the tax cuts. Spending on infrastructure is effective, but may occur with a delay. Given the outlook for a prolonged underemployed economy, this delay may not be a serious limit, and investment in infrastructure would increase the public
capital stock and future output.

Preliminary studies that examined some of the major features of recently enacted measuressuggest the expanded and augmented benefits during the initial decline in output were effective at increasing spending, with stimulus checks being effective to the extent they were received by lower-income individuals. Stimulus checks received by higher-income
individuals appeared to be largely saved and not effective as stimulus. The studies on the PPPare mixed. Two studies indicated that the loans went to firms that already intended to retain employees or did not go to areas most affected by the virus, while one study found that states with more PPP loans had milder declines and faster recoveries.

The current recession’s economic effects, including discretionary spending and the automatic revenue declines and spending increases that accompany a recession, are projected to increase the debt significantly. Although there is a general consensus among economists that it is premature to address the debt given the severity of the current contraction, mainstream economic theory points to the importance of addressing an unsustainable debt as soon as economic conditions permit. Hence, eventually, after the economy recovers, a substantially increased debt may lead policymakers to consider deficit reduction policies, which may include raising taxes and/or reducing spending.

Full Congressional Research Service report here.

I hear already objections that this is a Keynesian analysis to which I would respond it’s a data-based analysis. But if one adjusts for the special attributes of this recession — induced for public health reasons, and disproportionately impacting high-contact services — it’s not clear that the implied policy responses are all different from what has been undertaken thus far. One example I used in my Spring 2020 class is Guerrieri et al.

By the way, the Congressional Research Service is the Congress’s nonpartisan, technocratic, think tank, just like the CBO is Congress’s budgeting and economic projection agency. If you just want to have faith (in “V-shaped recovery”, tax cuts pay for themselves, and leprechauns), this is not the document for you. CBO has an analysis of the implications of cutting off the $600/week enhanced unemployment benefits here.

On a related matter, the Economist has a good briefing “The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing a rethink in macroeconomic” on some aspects of the rethink in macro (in a nontechnical language).

 

29 thoughts on “Congressional Research Service: “Fiscal Policy and Recovery from the COVID19 Recession”

  1. pgl

    This document has basically contradicted just about all the babbling from Kudlow the Klown. And of course Kudlow the Klown is Trump’s boy. So Trump and his minions will have call this CRS discussion “fake analysis” even though it is spot on.

    Reply
  2. Moses Herzog

    In other notes:
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/biden-campaign-suppressing-hispanic-vote-180950158.html.

    Gee, I wonder if Bernie Sanders would have had this problem?? Oh!!!! Wait!!!!! Our great Democrat analysts commenting on the bottom portion of these posts said “none of Bernie’s policies could get accomplished”. So, just like Debbie Wasserman C*ntz at the DNC, we have things your way. “Biden won’t need Florida or hispanics’ vote…….” After all, who needs anything when you have slogans like “I’m With Me” and you cannibalize your own voter base. How come the “Lincoln Project” can figure out how these things are done in an intelligent manner while people like Anita Dunn squirm their phalanges up their twat??
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/stevenperlberg/former-obama-adviser-anita-dunn-helped-harvey-weinstein

    https://theintercept.com/2017/11/06/rahm-emmanuel-on-donna-brazile-claims-this-is-really-totally-irrelevant

    Biden better get his clouded senior moment together with some coffee and a doubleshot of “tPA” and make Susan Rice his VP pick, before this turns into a carnival ride that didn’t have its joints welded together properly (and it’s getting to the point of the carnival ride not welded together properly). It’s going to be a living nightmare if he doesn’t go with either Demings or Rice. Stacey Abrams will be slaughtered in campaign ads and in a debate environment. Stacey Abrams’ debate experience is comprised of nodding in agreement with herself after self-demeaningly begging for the VP job on TV shows like “The View”.

    And BTW, I can already see the BarkleyJuniorish-morons piping in here, so let’s get this explained to the dumbos in the room— ANYONE WHO BELIEVES IN THE LEGITIMACY OF BENGHAZI CONSPIRACY THEORIES ISN’T GOING TO VOTE FOR BIDEN ANYWAY!!!!! Those voters have ALREADY been lost. That train has left the station. So why choose a bad VP candidate to “win over” voters you’re not getting ANYWAY?? Only the Hillary fans can give you the “answer” to that question.

    Reply
    1. Moses Herzog

      My “personal favorite” part of Lee Fang’s story:
      The former Bill Clinton aides further defended the current management of the party, including DNC Chair Tom Perez’s decision to appoint a number of corporate lobbyists to leadership positions at the party.

      As The Intercept reported, Perez moved in October to purge longstanding party officials seen as friendly to Sanders and Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., while appointing a number of corporate lobbyists, including registered lobbyists for Citigroup, a nuclear power company, and News Corporation (the parent company of Fox News), as at-large members of the DNC. The at-large committee members also serve as so-called “super delegates,” charged with helping to select the party’s presidential nominee.

      Hillary’s old friends allowing the parent company of FOX news as an “at-large” member AND a super delegate of the DNC, while working to castrate guys like Keith Ellison (who similar to Colin Powell “WMD”, bit down on the plastic fish bait and swallowed it whole when offered “#2” at DNC) and David Sirota. Gee, I don’t see any problems there, do you?? Let’s keep hiring people at the DNC who can sit at Hillary’s “cool kids table” while they collect checks for doing nothing and losing elections decade after decade after decade. That seems to be working super well.

      We still have Nancy Pelosi though, right?? And I bet the check that went to Pelosi’s husband’s company is just providing a “fiscal stimulus” to this nation that nobody could hardly believe:
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/firm-linked-to-pelosis-husband-got-virus-loan-data-show/2020/07/06/ddbfe428-bfbd-11ea-8908-68a2b9eae9e0_story.html

      Reply
    2. The Rage

      Errr what??? Sanders had this “problem” all over the country in the primaries. It’s SOP when your dealing with 100’s of groups.

      Reply
  3. 2slugbaits

    The big lesson from the pandemic is that our “safety net” is not up to the job. We rely upon state unemployment agencies to keep people afloat. That’s probably okay if the problem is your standard business cycle downturn. The incentive structures are all geared towards getting people back to work. But that doesn’t work in the present crisis because we don’t (or at least shouldn’t) want certain people to get back to work. In other words, we really don’t want to “stimulate” the economy to generate economic growth. What we should want is to keep certain sectors in a kind of suspended animation until we get the coronavirus under control. Unfortunately, our creaky state unemployment agency based approach to supporting people who are out of work because of the pandemic has resulted in economic distress for too many people, so we see Treasury issuing $1200 checks to everyone. Well intentioned, but the unintended effect is to stimulate demand for the very sectors that we ought to be shutting down. Someone who is working and has not been affected by the pandemic (and probably wears a MAGA hat) will likely take that $1200 check and head to the bars and restaurants, thereby increasing demand for those sectors and putting political leaders under more pressure to open up those sectors. We saw that in Michigan and Wisconsin. Another effect of these misguided policies of issuing checks to everyone regardless of need will be to make the national debt a bigger issue once we get past this crisis. It will be Reinhart & Rogoff all over again. Our entire safety net system keeps getting in the way of the kinds of policies we need to get control of the virus.

    Reply
    1. Willie

      There is a lot more that is threadbare than just the safety net. The cost of our inefficient healthcare system puts us at a competitive disadvantage in good times and is disastrous in a pandemic. For starters.

      Reply
    2. not_really

      The big lesson from the pandemic is that our “safety net” is not up to the job.

      Strip spending from services the Right doesn’t like, then blame the service for not servicing because it’s Big Government. (Don’t look over there at the giant military industrial complex.)

      Don’t forget the implicit hatred of everyone who isn’t them with reasoning like “All social spending does is generate bad incentives from people who are poor only because they make bad economic choices.” And then criminalize poverty.

      Reply
  4. Moses Herzog

    One more thing I want to touch on since I’m blathering on about politics in a fiscal stimulus post/thread. There’s no way Biden picks Elizabeth Warren. I want to be on the record that she will not be chosen by Biden. She doesn’t fit with voters in the middle that Biden badly needs. She has eliminated herself from inclusion with her Native American nonsense. And she only has herself to blame. I warned about this, that she needed to FIX her lie of being Native American at least 6 months before she announced her 2020 run. Warren kept repeating a lie and now she has to deal with something that could have been repaired easily around June of 2018. She decided to take the Hillary Clinton route of repeating and repeating and repeating lies that a 5 year old child would tell, and well…… that’s a shame…….. really
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN9YlThJ7I8

    Reply
    1. The Rage

      Warrens Senate seat makes her unpickable. VP doesn’t mean a lot this cycle. Campaigning is toast as well.

      Reply
    2. Barkley Rosser

      Ah, the latest from Moses on who is good and not good in the US political arena.

      St. Bernie Sanders, Can Do No Wrong, should have been Dem nominee, 2016, 2020
      Susan Rice, smart and competent, and will have no problem at all with BENGHAZI!!!
      Demings, a former police chief who is on House Judiciary Committee. Does not know where the bathrooms are in DC yet, but at least not a “living nightmare”
      Kamala Harris, “puke”
      Elizabeth Warren, “Pocahontas”
      Stacey Abrams, nods in agreement with herself too much
      Biden, cannot identify an elephant on a dementia test and has been Mean To St. Bernie In 2020
      Pelosi, cannot count backwards by 7 from 100 on a dementia test and eats too much ice cream
      Hillary Clinton, was Mean To St. Bernie In 2016 and stole silverware from the White House when she and Bill left
      Bill Clinton, married to Hillary Clinton, what can one say?

      Reply
      1. Moses Herzog

        @ Barkley Junior
        You’re obviously upset because you were embarrassed by your continued claims that Warren Elizabeth was Native American—which she apologized for claiming after her campaign had started and she was losing badly. Now you’re sad because she’s not getting VP, even though in the last 2 weeks you claimed Warren was a strong candidate for the VP slot.. You kinda look dumb on this whole deal, don’t you Junior?? Sorry, since it’s your own words that made you look politically unread, I can’t help you. Your intentional misrepresentation of other people’s comments here because you want people to believe a PhD is too dumb to do web links really doesn’t help your cause either.

        One of my favorites was when you said Copmala Harris had a good chance to beat Biden in South Carolina. I believe you said “SC will be the serious Biden-Harris showdown.” Unfortunately for Barkley Junior, Harris had to drop out of the race before South Carolina had their primary.
        https://econbrowser.com/archives/2019/07/of-sugar-highs-uncertainty-and-recession#comment-227560 <<—See, unlike you, being stuck with misquoting other people's words in an attempt to win an argument, I can show your actual words. Really tough Junior.

        Did you see how well Copmala Harris did in her home state of California though Junior?? https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/election-results/california-democratic-primary-live-results/. Those are the type numbers that could only impress one single “mathematical economist” on all of planet Earth. Even Copmala’s mother probably figured out that was bad in her home state. Junior—did you want Copmala’s Mom to phone you and explain the numbers there??

        But since you can’t point back to one intelligent thing you said about Elizabeth Warren’s failed run for presidency, I guess you’re stuck with false quotes of other commenters to retain your self-delusion—- enjoy.

        Reply
        1. Moses Herzog

          @ Barkley Junior
          I know your mind is a couple clock ticks slower than Joe Biden’s, so here’s an extra link to drive the point home for you Junior:
          https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-12-03/california-voters-wanted-kamala-harris-to-drop-out-of-presidential-race-poll-found

          I know you can’t do links for anything other than “EconoMisspeak”, so….. don’t worry about it ok?? We understand.

          BTW, if you think a woman who was polling 7% among her own party’s home state voters is “a good VP running mate”, we’re going to have to create a new revolutionary way of measuring IQ just for you Junior.

          Reply
          1. Moses Herzog

            Menzie, with all due respect (and you have it from me), One needn’t be a donald j trump, throwing around the Pocahontas joke (although I have to admit in my own head wavering on whether she deserves it or not, I choose not to use it myself, you can back-check the archive if you like to see if I ever used that) to understand that was a ridiculous ridiculous lie. And it may or may not shock you to know, I go through great internal pains to be objective, and yes lend people I even dislike the benefit of the doubt.

            Would it shock you to know I was Elizabeth Warren’s biggest defender on James Kwak’s and Simon Johnson’s blog “back in the day”?? That is a FACT. You could almost ID which blog moniker I used there on that basis alone. I would have even forgiven the woman, the LIE, a ridiculous LIE at that, had she only come clean. I said it again and again and again. And I would have forgiven that childlike “I have a big chocolate smear on my face Mommy and chocolate all over my shirt too Mommy, but I did not eat the chocolate cake” LIE—but what did she do?? She in essence (after the start of her campaign) “took back” her LIE at the exact point she had no other choice from a public relations/votes standpoint.

            Now, I have discussed how objectivity is important to me. “You” have to ask yourself two questions related to objectivity.

            Question 1: “Would Senator Warren have claimed to be Native American had the woman not seen it as advantageous to her career??” For me, that answer is almost laughable, because when I ask the question, it almost qualifies as “rhetorical” in my mind. DO you somehow imagine her in your mind going to Native America?Cherokee tribe events as a child?? I’m here to tell you it never happened, and “strangely enough” the woman has never produced any photos/proof of said such events from her childhood. It has also been shown she literally plagiarized a recipe from a well known cook/chef recipe book word for word, as claim of a Native American food “she ate as a child”. Thats a pretty big A__ red flag Menzie.

            Question 2: If someone such as Mitch McConnell (insert any “Person X” that you personally LOATHE here, for me McConnell is top 5), with Mitch McConnell’s same political background and same political “Avatar”, but with Warren Elizabeth’s same personal bio—-told the EXACT same story as Elizabeth Warren did, would you believe they thought in their own mind they were “Native American”?? If Mitch McConnell told you that SAME story would you or many other regular commenters on this site believe that?!?!?!?! For me the answer is “NO”, and I’m not extending that courtesy to Warren of a “pass” only on the basis that at one time I thought she was a decent human being, and even admirable. And, Frankly, I don’t know how you can “buy” it Menzie, I really do not.

          2. Barkley Rosser

            Gosh, Moses, do you actually “loathe” Mitch McConnell more that you “borderland hate” me and Nancy Pelosi? No, mere loathing does not put him up their in our exalted company of the truly hated.

            On the matter of Harris, she had a brief blip in the presidential race that I noted at the time, which included her and Warren (whom you once praised on the Good Ship Kwak and Johnson before you decided she was a vile liar who needed endless denouncing here), came out ahead of Biden in a poll in Iowa. At that moment it indeed looked like SC would be a place for a showdown between her and Biden. But then, after the next debate she faded back down into the ranks, so I wickedly “revised” my assessment to accept that, although I appreciate that for you “revisionism” is a something as bad as Iosif Dzhugashvilli thought it was, who used to have people shot in the head in the basement of the Lyubuanka prison for engaging in it. She did herself a favor for getting th VP nod by dropping out of the prez race well before many others did.

            Indeed, it is a fact, as I reported, that over on Daily Kos she was tops in the polling there for the VP nod, with only Warren and Rice also over 10%, and indeed it looks like Warren is out, probably more for being so white rather than for any of her remarks about her very real Native American ancesry, which she apologized for eventually, with those apologies apparently accepted by most Native American Indian leaders, although not apparently by you, paragon of moral judgment.

            So why might Harris be on top (although this is not at all a forecast she will get it; I do not know who will) in hard-core Dem polling, and that is the Daily Kos crowd? Certainly Harris has baggage from of her decisions in the past as DA and AG, some of which date to a period when Biden was also doing things that now look bad, a period when a Dem had to be “tough” on law and order to stay in office, and some of which she herself has since repudiated. But, she has strength on a lot of domestic policy issues, sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, not to mention having spent serious time abroad in the home nations of her two immigrant parents, and also is the only VP candidate left standing apparently who has run for president, thus getting that vetting.

            Rice is clearlly very capable regarding foreign policy, although she has this Behghazi baggage, which I agree is silly, but so then is some of the baggage you are posing at Harris, Moses. Her problems besides that are that she has zero knowledge or experience on domestic policy, and also has not only not run for president, she has never tun for any office at all, not even dogcatcher. It is known that Biden respects her very much, and I do too, having actually met her.But her lack of political experience and domestic policy experience are serious problems.

            Then we have you pushing Val Demings, a nice person who was modestly articulate during the impeachment hearing. Let us see, worked for the Orlando police dept for 27 years, finally becoming its Chief for three. Well, now, maybe you think it is onlhy Harris who has “law and order” baggage, obviously you have not checked out Demings. She was criticized for not handling police brutality well when Chief, and we are talking only about five or six years ago, not well over a decade ago. And now she has been a member of the House for almost two terms. Maybe she knows something about domestic policy besides law and order issues, but she is just the opposite of Rice when it comes to foreign policy. Does she even know where the NSA HQ is, much less where any of the bathrooms are there? She seems to be a nice person, but maybe she can run for Senate or Governor of something before she leaps up into the vice presidency.

            In short, Harris has it strong on both domestic and foreign policy as well as having been through the harsh glare of running for president. She and Rice and Warren and Demings all have baggage, so that is hard to get away from. As it is, Markos Moulitsas at Daily Kos, worrying about that fact, has come out for Rep. Loren Bass of California, whom Biden had a conversation with while visiting the casket of John Lewis at the Capitol, and she was Dem leader in the CA House, and now she leads the Black Caucus in the House!!!! Wow, but see other matters like zero foreign policy experience and zero national level vetting a la a national run for anything, etc. But there you go.

          3. Barkley Rosser

            Gosh, I forgot to point out that while you are yet again berating me for having once said SC would be a showdown between Biden and Harris, something I withdrew from a very long time ago, you denounced me more times than I can count here for having reported on that Iowa poll that had Warren and Harris ahead of Biden briefly there. You denied that it existed and went on and on demanding a link to prove it, google source insufficient. I did finally provide such a source, and you admitted you were wrong, but as is your wont that let you slightly shift ground to keep on going on and on about related matters such as this forecast that I withdrew from about Harris and Biden, which you are actually bringing up again here now.

            I could list several things very recently where you have been imitating this behavior: getting caught being wrong about a clearly factual matter, but then continuing to bring it up and attempting to twist it somehow to show that somehow or other you actually were right after all, but I shall not bore people further by bringing any of these numerous examples up now.

            Do you have any idea that going on and on like this about completely dead issues makes you look borderland psychotic?

          4. baffling

            “Would Senator Warren have claimed to be Native American had the woman not seen it as advantageous to her career??”
            the issue had absolutely NO bearing on her career trajectory. you do not become named chair professor at harvard by claiming minority status. this is an absurd and bogus argument.

            “would you believe they thought in their own mind they were “Native American”??”
            i was raised to believe my family was part irish. a couple decades ago, had an uncle who conducted a deep family history tree. study went back into the 1700’s sometime. through that time period, we found no irish immigrant in the family line. no evidence appeared to support my irish heritage-although it is possible going back further would reveal it. i still believe in my irish heritage. are you going to tell me i can’t claim it?

          5. Moses Herzog

            @ Menzie Warren also claimed that in a meeting which both had verbally agreed was a private/ “off the record” meeting that Bernie told her “A woman could never be USA President”. I’m honestly curious where you put this on your believability gauge?? Even if you don’t like or agree with Bernie, you would have to concede he is pretty sharp politically (yes?). Do you imagine Bernie thinking to himself making that statement to an opponent during a campaign for president helps him in WHAT way?? I’m telling you Menzie—once again, as in MANY things Warren says, it does not pass “the sniff test”.

            Also note, Warren shook Bernie’s hand multiple times after she claimed he made the statement, but only refused to shake Bernie’s hand after he told the public that her claim was a lie.

            @ Baffling If your family insists on telling you you’re Irish, even though there’s nothing to show that there is back to 1700, am I going to tell you you can’t claim you’re Irish?? NO, I’m not going to tell you you can’t claim you’re Irish. But I might giggle like a 12 year old and tap the guy’s shoulder next to me and ask “Have you ever met someone as stupid, as that guy over there, before??”

            I should add, for the very slow-witted among us, that claiming you’re Irish is no help to Harvard in meeting minority hiring quotas. This may shock you, but in the state of Massachusetts post circa 1980 or probably before, Irish are not considered as a “minority”. Not in hiring quotas anyway.

          6. baffling

            well moses, YOU made the accusation that she claimed to be native american to further her career. and YOU made the assertion that harvard hired her to satisfy minority hiring goals. and yet you have provided zero evidence that either of these cases is true.

            look, you have the right to say you dislike warren because she looked at you funny. but you are making claims without evidence, and asserting them as factual. that is inappropriate. simply man up and say you have no real reason to dislike her, she just rubs you wrong. quit trying to legitimize your hate with fabrication.

            i am simply going to enjoy my Guinness and ” tap the guy’s shoulder next to me and ask “Have you ever met someone as stupid, as that guy over there, before??”

  5. macroduck

    Couple of things about the Economist macro brief.

    Th author asserts that the Keynesian goal in he pre-Volcker era was income equality. There may have been secondary inteerest in income equality, but the main goal was full employment. Sounds like the author has confused todays headlines with history.

    The author also repeatedly clains that negatie interest rates are “radical” reltive to a massiv program of government spending and debt monetization. Someone’s bias is showing. I’m not aware of an objectiely based scale of radicalism. Love to see it, though.

    Otherwise, getting a list of some of the big economic issues (not all macro) in one place is worth the ink.

    Reply
    1. Moses Herzog

      Haven’t read the Economist piece (I basically refuse to read them since they tried to charge me for 2 free TRIAL issues I took some years ago, then actually phoned my home to threaten me, after I still had the email cancelling my trial subscription dated before the end of the “FREE” trial). Anyway, if you want to read Economist remember, they enjoy attempting to rob people’s income and credit after taking a free trial subscription. Happy reading.

      I would say though, that the way I remember the Volcker years (and I remember some facets of it quite well because my father basically went bankrupt attempting to manage a motel) is that Volcker sky-rocketed rates intentionally to lower inflation, and whatever human collateral damage happened would be damned in the process. But I don’t know, maybe I just imagined eating pork and beans and macaroni and cheese week-after-week-after-week-after-week-after-week-after week-after-week-after-week while my Mom was commuting to another town on Pell Grant to become an RN. The mind is a very strange thing. I probably just imagined that stretch of my life. Actually, I must have been on a yacht around the San Francisco Bay area eating soft-shell lobster and just day-dreamed that for some reason.

      Reply
      1. macroduck

        Outside of war, Jim Crow and a mishandled pandemic, Volcker’s was about as damaging a policy as has been visited on the U.S. in past 150 years. Big difference is, war, Jim Crow and pandemic policy all have harm as their goal. (In the case of pandemic policy, Trump’s re-election is the intended harm.) Volcker sought to do good by doing harm. Was there a better way? I’m not qualified to rewrite history, but the job market was not my friend under Volcker.

        Reply
        1. Moses Herzog

          @ macroduck
          I have very strong mixed feelings on Volcker. Similar to you, it’s hard for me to be objective on the man. But I would say this, if I only judged Volcker on how my family faired (during my childhood and dark days for my father/family) I would probably pretty much hate the guy. But viewed as a whole and on his base intentions, I view Volcker in an overall positive light. I think my Dad probably blamed Volcker for at least a small portion of his “business” failures at that time in his life, so that one is a hard one for me to rectify in my mind, even to this very day/moment.

          I’m kinda glad you feel this way about those policies, as I think you’re one of the more intelligent commenters here on the blog, and it makes me feel better about my Dad’s “failures” or things he was grappling with at that time (late ’70s early ’80s).

          Reply
  6. baffling

    “and whatever human collateral damage happened would be damned in the process.”
    i was criticized on this blog when volcker died, for my poor assessment of him. people were rewriting history and claiming that he was really a stoic leader who did what he had to do. i made the same point quoted above. volcker does not sit in the pantheon of greatness, exactly because this process damaged a lot of people, and was not necessary. i remember the early 80’s, mostly for so many friends moving away over the summer when the steel mills closed. reagan and volcker did not contribute to an idyllic era for me.

    Reply
    1. Moses Herzog

      @ baffling
      I have already stated I view Volcker overall positively. However, I am being very genuine and sincere when I use the cliche “I feel your pain brother”.

      Reply
      1. baffling

        my guess is that is a very “hesitant” overall positive feeling, moses. its kind of like the view of the man in charge of throwing the switch on the electric chair. you understand it is his job. but if he was the one who flipped the switch that killed your dad, then he is the man that killed your dad. you will still hold that grudge.
        do i think volker was an inherent bad guy? no. but he made a mistake with the damage he did, and offered no apologies. his approach was not the only solution. but he CHOSE that solution. i question his decision making. i don’t hold him in as high regard as you.

        Reply
  7. Okuse Marvellous

    People don't really understand what the world is really passing through, all they thunk is that the covid-19 is fake but not knowing that its 100% real. I over had someone saying that covid-19 is fake and he will start up his business full and that was when the world declared total lock-down. As for me, my life is so precious to me more than anything. Thanks to God for seeing us through, also thanks to you for taking your time in providing information despite the hard time. I really do appreciate your work.

    Reply

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