Debating An Economic Recovery

We are so ready for economic recovery. But doomsayers are still warning of doom, and soon. We’ll get that view, and the sunny side.

People wait in line during a job fair for Home Depot at the WorkSource Oregon Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, in Tigard, Ore. (AP)

People wait in line during a job fair for Home Depot at the WorkSource Oregon Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, in Tigard, Ore. (AP)

We just want it to be over – this bad economy meat grinder.  And maybe it is, getting there.  Better job numbers last week.  Industrial production, up.  Car sales, up.  Real GDP, accelerating.  Stock market, perking up a lot.

On the other hand… You’ve got economists out there who are still talking doom and doomer.  The euro melting down.  The Chinese housing market going belly up.  Capitalism itself in some kind of structural death spiral.  Riot and class war.  Visions of apocalypse.  Yikes.

This hour, On Point:  doom versus boom – or at least some blossom – and what we’re up against.

-Tom Ashbrook


Adam Davidson,  co-founder and co-host of NPR’s Planet Money. He writes the “It’s the Economy” column for the New York Times. His latest column is It Is Safe To Resume Ignoring The Prophets of Doom…Right?

Brian Wesbury, chief economist for the First Trust financial services firm. He’s the author of It’s Not as Bad As You Think: Why Capitalism Trumps Fear and the Economy Will Thrive.

Steve Hanke, professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University. Senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Once the crisis hit, it became popular to scour the past for apocalyptic predictions that had come true. While many gloomy forecasts came from the left — notably Paul Krugman and Dean Baker — there was one particularly prescient voice from the right. As early as 2004, Peter Schiff, a libertarian investor, was arguing that the housing-fueled economic boom was a bubble waiting to burst. ”

Foreign Policy “Debt-ridden and hidebound, Europe may be on the verge of a painful breakup. America is still reeling from the 2008 financial crisis. Even China and India — the new engines of global growth — seem to be sputtering these days. Worse yet, the usual wonkish prescriptions don’t seem to be working anymore. So we asked 13 of the smartest people we know to give us their one out-of-the-box idea for fixing the global economy. Here’s what they recommend.”

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