Call me an economics writer. But did anyone hear any discussion of economic policy in last night’s Democratic debate? I didn’t. How do we create jobs unless we have a policy that heats up this economy? And the principal way to do that is through fiscal policy. Monetary policy has basically run out of gas with interest rates so low.
But there was no discussion about monetary quantitative easing. No talk that I remember about fiscal stimulus. Little discussion about how infrastructure investment could accomplish both, heat up the economy through more government spending and create jobs. Granted there was a nod of the hat to infrastructure, but only that.
These Democrats may be afraid to raise the deficit bugaboo, though I think it was Bernie Sanders who at least mentioned it had fallen.
Fiscal policy is now critical to a strong America economy. We are dangerously close to stagnating, there is virtually no inflation, and interest rates are invisibly low. The social policies we need can be financed by the federal government, but the Democrats last night hardly rallied the troops for this critical issue. Are they already afraid of the Republicans and their austerity economics? Let’s hope not.