Learn from the Past Economic Mistakes; Richard Vedder Is an Ohio University Economics Professor, Author and an Adjunct Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He Spoke to the Trib regarding the Evolution of Economics over the Past Half Century. [Derived Headline]

By Heyl, Eric | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 11, 2016 | Go to article overview

Learn from the Past Economic Mistakes; Richard Vedder Is an Ohio University Economics Professor, Author and an Adjunct Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He Spoke to the Trib regarding the Evolution of Economics over the Past Half Century. [Derived Headline]


Heyl, Eric, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Richard Vedder is an Ohio University economics professor, author and an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He spoke to the Trib regarding the evolution of economics over the past half century.

Q: You've contended there's an evolving disconnect between economic reality and public policy. How so?

A: As economists and social scientists, we should take what we learn from our research and use it to determine our public policy. Often we don't do that. We learned from the last third of the 20th century that the Keynesian approach to economic stabilization, which involved lowering taxes and increasing government spending via deficit spending, did not always work. In the 1970s, we had stagflation and ran deficits. Did that lead to lower unemployment and higher output growth? No. Japan had a similar situation in the 1990s. They had a decade where they experienced virtually no economic growth despite massive government spending. Yet we still have people today who advocate the use of large deficit spending to stimulate the economy, important people -- I would include President Obama for starters.

Q: Why do you believe these past experiences are being ignored?

A: There are political agendas at work here that sometimes override common sense. Government experts should have learned from the past but they haven't. What did the stimulus package accomplish? Did we see any dramatic improvements in the economy? The reality is that we've had the slowest recovery of any major economic downturn since World War II, and we've gone 10 years in a row without having even a 3 percent annual growth rate. …

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