Does This Ease Your Worries?: it Eases Mark Thoma's…


The question is do you believe that the US economy will eventually be at the same level of income, employment, and so that it would have been without a “great recession” or will just resume the same percent growth but from a lower base and never catch back up to where would have been as did Britan as shown?

Log GDP

Mark Thoma is impressed by the strength and reliability of the trend in U.S. real GDP growth:

Does This Ease Your Worries?: US GDP from 1870-2008: As you can see from this picture, historically we’ve always recovered from recessions. Eventually. But as you can also see from the Great Depression, recovery has not always been immediate…. I am confident that we’ll return to trend this time as well, the question is how long it will take us to get there. At this point — with the worrisome signs in recent data — it’s not looking to be anywhere near as fast as we’d like…. So we will get back to trend. But it will be awhile before we get there.

Measuring Worth  Graphs of Various Historical Economic Series

I, too, find the picture impressive. But the U.S. is exceptional. Other countries do not show the same pattern: for example, the United Kingdom never recovered to trend after its post-World War I recession.

And past performance is no guarantee of future results…

Does This Ease Your Worries?: it Eases Mark Thoma’s…
J. Bradford DeLong
Fri, 27 May 2011 16:02:17 GMT

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3 responses to “Does This Ease Your Worries?: it Eases Mark Thoma's…

  1. Having just returned from the travel course to Italy, I recall Rome, renaissance Florence, and the once mighty Catholic church. In each case, especially the Roman Empire’s, there were hundreds of years of upward growth before they hit the peak and started to decline. The question for the US is whether or not we’re still in the midst of our “glory years,” or if like Rome in about 250 AD or so, we’re starting a downward slide.

  2. Oh you’re back!! Silly me.

  3. That IS impressive.. problem might be, that this curve also hides an enormous transfer of power to a handful of private citizens. Who will continue to enforce the trend – and push US even further towards third-world inequalities and loss of democracy. Good for GDP, but a very different America for most people.

    And the reflections on Rome Vs. US is a great pasttime. I’m leaning towards the “the prize will always be US” – thanks to climate and geography. A well-protected and fertile continent between 30 and 50 degrees north will always prevail. It could be occupied though, or temporarily disintegrate.

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