Some good takeaways from the article…
Over the past 80 years, we have solved the problem of demand in three very different ways. The first is war. In 1938, US unemployment was almost 20%. In 1944 it was barely 1%. Everybody knows World War II ended the Great Depression: but it is worth remembering that it wasn’t the slaughter of civilians or the destructions of cities that reinvigorated the global economy, but rather the massive fiscal stimulus of government borrowing. Had we borrowed and spent as much on building schools, homes and roads as we did on defeating the Axis powers, the economic effect would have been even greater.The advantage of military Keynesianism is political: conservatives who loathe government spending are able to overcome their distaste when it comes to war. (the emphasis is mine)
The second, during the post war Golden Age, was rising salaries. Between 1950 and 1970, the average American worker saw his real wages double: since then, they have barely gone up at all. Back then, productivity improvements translated almost immediately into wage gains. As workers’ wages went up, so did consumer spending. Productivity increases meant each worker was able to make more stuff. Wage increases meant he was able to afford to buy it. Advertising transformed luxuries into necessities. Productivity gains combined with wage hikes gave the Golden Age the greatest GDP growth the world has ever seen.
Prosperity by Tom Streithorst What stands in its way? The Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) is back in the news. The Finns are considering implementing it, as are the Swiss, replacing all means tested benefits with a simple grant to every citizen, giving everyone enough money to survive.