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Recession Redux

Posted By: Allen Lambert on January 6, 2010
I find this idea somewhat silly. There is a virtual infinity of "gaps" which result in less than some theoretical maximum GDP.

The same basic principle could be applied to all sorts of variables and find mythical recessions. Thus, if every citizen had a JD or MBA or PhD our GDP might be higher yet. Or if all people lived healthy lives and worked productively to age 100 our GDP might be higher. Etc.

Of course, there is no economy and society which could work with such a population.

Nor is it even likely that our economy could have produced $2T higher GDP, if only .... Given that our economy has moved from production to consumption, that much production has moved off shore, that the fastest growing sector of the labor force is low paid service workers, etc., and that a majority of workers have less buying power now than 30 years ago, the authors' calculation is more than a little problematic.

Human individuals and socio-cultural systems are highly imperfect and exhibit a complex set of variations. So we are never going to achieve a "full glass" or someone's idea of the ideal educational attainment and employment structure and resulting GDP. Further, in this day of sustainability, the idea that we would increase consumption even more is mind-boggling, if not self-destructive.

Allen Lambert
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 Recession Redux by Allen Lambert on January 6, 2010
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