In an ideal world, discussions of ideal work levels would be detached from discussions of unemployment, growth, and distribution. But in our narrow political frame, all of these things are mushed together, and tend towards the view that we must have more work hours to solve all the other stuff. This, of course, isn't true. You can reduce overall work hours (through longer vacations and more paid leave) while reducing unemployment, increasing GDP/hour, and even boosting the incomes of the poor and working classes (despite reducing work hours) by increasing transfer incomes. Yet, because of market income fetishism and simplistic discussions of GDP growth, we don't seem to have the political imagination to even consider such a program.Two graphs summarize Bruenig's argument. See the difference?
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Why it is Wrong to Focus on Growth Alone
Matt Bruenig has a most excellent post, Why Jeb Bush is Wrong to Focus on Growth Alone at Policyshop. It isn't only Jeb Bush who focuses on growth "alone" (or above everything else). It's the standard framing, everything else is reduced to an afterthought.