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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 11, 2010 / 4 Kislev, 5771

World unites against Obama economic policies

By Robert Robb


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Barack Obama has accomplished his goal of uniting the rest of the world. Unfortunately, what the rest of the world is united on is opposition to U.S. economic policy.

Obama is in Asia to peddle two inconsistent, and in fact contradictory, economic nostrums. The first is that global economic conditions require governments, particularly in developed countries, to maintain stimulus policies. The second is that global imbalances need to be corrected by countries with trade surpluses consuming more and countries with trade deficits saving more.

After the knees of the banking industry buckled, most countries adopted stimulus policies. Developed countries propped up their banks. All governments with the ability to do so increased spending.

The rest of the world is in retreat from such policies. This is in part from necessity. In the euro area, many countries simply reached the limit of their ability to borrow to maintain spending.

But it is also in part from conviction. The Obama theory is that when private sector economic activity is weak, government needs to step up its spending to compensate for the slack.

There is a competing theory: That private sector economic recovery requires a solid foundation. That means a sound currency and a more affordable government overhead. This is the approach Margaret Thatcher pursued successfully to pilot Britain through recession in the early 1980s.

Germany sets the standard these days for fiscal rectitude and it has the healthiest economy in the developed world. Obama lost his only global ally for keeping the foot on the stimulus pedal when the Conservative-Liberal coalition took over from Labor in Britain. The coalition is pursuing a decidedly Thatcherite approach.

The rest of the world simply regards the Obama administration as hypocritical on the issue of global rebalancing, and justifiably so.

The countries Obama wants to consume more are principally Germany and China. The country with the huge trade deficit that needs to save more is the United States.

Well, the savings rate in the U.S. is up markedly. Have there been congratulatory speeches from the Oval Office saying: Well done, we're now on our way to a more sustainable economic path?

Of course not. Instead, the increase in the savings rate is considered a problem since it comes initially at the cost of consumption. So, rather than congratulations, the Obama administration keeps serving up new incentives to spend.

Long-term, the Obama administration is pursuing policies that will reduce the investment pool in the United States by increasing taxes on the affluent and on investment income directly.

Meanwhile, it is U.S. monetary policy that really has the rest of the world's teeth on edge. U.S. monetary policy is set by an independent central bank, not the Obama administration. But the course being pursued by Ben Bernanke's Fed is clearly supportive of the general Obama approach of keeping the pedal down on stimulus.

On the domestic side, the intent is to keep interest rates low, which is another discouragement of savings.

Internationally, the Fed's easy money policy is depreciating the world's reserve currency. Bernanke keeps saying he sees no inflation. But the general price level doesn't need to rise for the dollar to buy less, particularly in international markets. Commodities and other currencies are rising rapidly against the dollar.

The Fed's depreciation of the dollar is pushing capital flows particularly to emerging economies. Fearing inflation and asset bubbles, they are increasingly contemplating capital controls. That's not a good thing, but it is about the only defense emerging markets have if the U.S. is not going to protect the soundness of the dollar.

The lesson of the last 30 years of economic history is that economic growth isn't something governments can turn on or off like a faucet. All government can do, and must do, is to provide a solid foundation.

It's a big problem when the United States is the only country in the world that seems not to understand this.

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JWR contributor Robert Robb is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. Comment by clicking here.

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