Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The Two-Track Economy - Simon Johnson - The Baseline Scenario
But at this stage in our economic boom-bust cycle, is it still helpful to think in terms of one aggregate measure of output?  Or are we seeing the emergence of a two-track economy: one bouncing back in a relatively healthy fashion, and the other really struggling?
The United States has, over the past two decades, started to take on characteristics more traditionally associated with Latin America: extreme income inequality, rising poverty levels, and worsening health conditions for many.  The elite live well and seem not to mind repeated cycles of economic-financial crisis.  In fact, if you want to be cynical, you might start to think that the most powerful of the well-to-do actually don't lose much from a banking sector run amok - providing the government can afford to provide repeated bailouts (paid for presumably through various impositions on people outside the uppermost elite strata).

Ultimately, of course, you get lower growth.  But by the time that is clear in the numbers, it may be too late to do much about it.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Aug 21st, 2009 at 06:02:39 AM EST

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series