James Pethokoukis

The Looting Scenario for America

April 13, 2010

The Great Arnold Kling thinks there is a high probability of a two-decade economic fiasco, outlined below.

Imagining a V-shaped recovery and the 2010 midterms

April 12, 2010

Those who argue that Democrats might lose one or both houses of Congress are making an economic argument. Slow growth/high unemployment = angry, anti-incumbent voters. But what if the economy really perks up? First some analysis by Larry Kudlow:

Why Henry Blodget is wrong about taxes

April 6, 2010

Henry Blodget says he’s pretty confident taxes are headed higher to deal with the historic rise in federal spending ¬†and agrees with Northern Trust’s Paul Kasriel that higher rates won’t be an economy killer. Blodget quotes Kasriel:

How America might get a VAT of its own

April 6, 2010

When will the other chaussure drop? Now that America has gone French (and German and British) with universal healthcare, expect Washington to eventually propose a European-style, value-added consumption tax to pay for it — as well as the rest of the historic rise in federal spending. But U.S. voters are in a severe anti-tax mood. It might take another financial crisis to give politicians the will and hubris to ignore them.

Preventing the Great Stagnation

March 31, 2010

David Gitlitz, chief economist at High View Economics, has a thought or two about my “20-year bust” post:

Obama and America’s 20-year bust

March 31, 2010

It is an alarming, jaw-dropping conclusion. The U.S. standard of living, says superstar Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon in a new paper, is about to experience its slowest growth “over any two-decade interval recorded since the inauguration of George Washington.” That’s right, get ready for twenty years of major-league economic suckage. It is an event that would change America’s material expectations, self-identity and political landscape. ¬†Change in the worst way.

7 reasons a VAT is a dicey proposition

March 29, 2010

My guy Pete Davis over at Capital Gains and Games unsheathes the katana and slices up the VAT. Not so easy to implement he says. A brief summary of his reasons (though read the whole thing, of course):

Economic guru: US faces its worst two decades in history

March 29, 2010

Get ready for the Long Recession.

Well, at least a long period of time where it is going to seem like the US economy is kind of sickly. That is the conclusion of productivity guru Robert Gordon in a new paper. He says US living standards now face their slowest two-decade growth rate “since the inauguration of George Washington.” More:

Yup, America hates Big Anything

March 25, 2010

A new poll shows Americans hate Wall Street. Of course, bankers are never popular. But maybe never less so than right now. Yet polls also show Americans cynical about Big Anything — Big Money, Big Business, Big Government. As Sen. John McCain likes to say, the approval ratings of Congress are so low, its only supporters must be paid staffers and blood relatives.

The crushing cost of the public sector

March 24, 2010

Great post with oodles of charts from Mike Mandel. I did want to highlight one chart, though: