Economic Policy That's More Than a Political Quick Fix

By Paul S. Sarbanes. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland chairs the congressional Joint Economic Committee. | The Christian Science Monitor, March 17, 1992 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Economic Policy That's More Than a Political Quick Fix


Paul S. Sarbanes. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland chairs the congressional Joint Economic Committee., The Christian Science Monitor


THE American economy is in serious trouble. The recession has brought into stark relief many of the problems built up over more than a decade of economic mismanagement. After ignoring the recession for a year, the Bush administration has come forth with proposals that solve neither the short-run problem of recession nor the long-term deterioration in our economic fundamentals. Without a significant change in course, the American economy appears headed for a future of slow growth and diminished opportunity.

The most recent cyclical indicators demonstrate the tenacity of the current recession. The unemployment rate in February rose to 7.3 percent, representing 9.2 million unemployed workers, the highest level during the recession. Another 1.1 million people have grown so discouraged about the labor market they have given up looking for work. In addition, 6.5 million people who want full-time work can find only part-time jobs. The Labor Department calculates that if the discouraged workers and involuntary part-time workers (counted one-half) are included in the unemployment rate, that rate for February would be 10.9 percent.

The number of long-term unemployed - those out of work for 27 weeks or longer - rose to 1.7 million in February, more than two-and-a-half times the long-term unemployed at the beginning of the recession. We know more job losses are coming, since many large firms such as GM, IBM, and Bethlehem Steel have announced large permanent staff cuts.

Even those with steady jobs find it harder to make ends meet. Real per capita after-tax income is lower today than it was at the end of 1988. This is the first three-year period since the Great Depression in which real income has fallen. It is hardly surprising that consumer confidence is near an all-time low.

Unfortunately, the president's proposals are not adequate to the challenge. They indicate that he is still underestimating the severity of both our short- and long-term economic problems.

The president's Economic Report predicts that the economy will grow by 2.2 percent in 1991 if the president's plan is adopted. Without the president's proposals, the administration predicts the economy will still grow at 1.6 percent. Thus, the program the administration has submitted would, by its own calculations, add only six-tenths of a percentage point to economic growth this year. It is predicted to have about the same impact annually, half a point, through 1997.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Economic Policy That's More Than a Political Quick Fix
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?