If GDP growth is that dependent on workforce growth, and 1990s growth repeats itself -- which was the longest uninterrupted economic expansion in our history that also gave us four years of budget surpluses -- then we may see the next generation about to take charge. They could turn out to be much more industrious than we know!
Last month, President Obama belatedly decided that the global climate crisis necessitated action to reduce carbon emission caused by coal. He authorized the EPA to issue draft regulations requiring utilities to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal plants by up to 30 percent by 2030. With climate change and coal's inherent dirtiness not exactly state secrets, I wondered why the president had waited until a difficult election year, when Democrats in coal states face difficult elections. But Obama's unerring sense of timing is a subject for another day. And these proposed regulations, though an improvement, only scratch the surface of what needs to be done. The thought occurred: Wouldn't the economic dislocations of a serious effort on climate change be more bearable if the economy were at full employment?
Today's texts acknowledge "blemishes" like the internment of Japanese Americans, but the texts either ignore or gloss over the fact that for almost a decade, during the earliest fascist invasions of Asia, Africa, and Europe, the Western democracies encouraged rather than fought Hitler and Mussolini, and sometimes gave them material aid.