Consumption Vs Production
The surprise surge of Donald Trump & Bernie Sanders on both sides of the political aisle gave credence to a growing movement in America.
President Trump & Bernie Sanders both made an economic pitch to “forgotten Americans” who feel they are being left behind in the current economy.
A new book from Oren Cass called “The Once and Future Worker: A Vision for the Renewal of Work in America” attempts to tackle this issue. Cass’ hypothesis on American stems from broken policies that focuses too much on overall economic growth and consumption at the expense of more balanced growth.
Cass believes we should focus more on production and less on consumption which would empower less-skilled workers to be productive. He calls this “Productive Pluralism.”
Cass’ book has been criticized by pro-growth economists like Jame Pethokoukis & Michal Strain. They believe redirecting our focus could slow growth. Scott Winship has been debating Cass on the pages of the National Review and it has been quite an interesting exchange.
Scott Winship’s criticism derives from Cass’ data analysis. Winship argues, “My beef is that this analysis overstates the extent to which the labor market is broken and attributes too much causal force to changes in the economy. While there are few economic stats on non-college Americans to inspire celebration, the most important indicators have either not worsened or have explanations that point to labor-supply problems rather than problems of labor demand. Generally, “no change” can’t explain change.” http://bit.ly/2SydK4Q
Cass responds arguing that no change is just as disastrous as decline if others are changing for the better, “We can celebrate a rising tide that lifts all ships even if it is lifting some faster than others. But if a sizeable population instead faces the twin ills of being stuck and left behind, that’s a real problem.” http://bit.ly/2SyEG4v
Winship and Cass back and forth and I will post the links down below. This is quite an interesting debate that needs to happen, especially on the right, to understand the ascendence of Donald Trump & Bernie Sanders. This does not mean that Cass’ conclusion is ultimately right. It does, however, prove that this topic is finally being broached by important and intellectual thinkers.
Cass V Winship
– A Debate about the Roots of American Working-Class Discontent http://bit.ly/2SydK4Q
– Re: The Roots of American Working-Class Discontent http://bit.ly/2SyEG4v
– Understanding the Data: The American Working-Class and the Economy http://bit.ly/2EgrYUY
– Interpreting Economic Stagnation http://bit.ly/2ASRBHg
– Decline, Stagnation, Inequality: What’s the Problem Facing Americans without College? http://bit.ly/2QhdFFK