In the Arena

The Bum Economy, Explained

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David Leonhardt does his usual excellent job explaining why the economy is lagging: People are still more  concerned about working down their debts than in buying new things (and running up new debts). As candidate Barack Obama told me in October, 2008, “The easy credit economy is over and we have to find what’s going to drive the economy in the future.” This idea isn’t new. As Leonhardt notes, the difference between this recession and most–and the reason why it will continue to fester–was described in a book by the economists Carmen Rhinehart and Kenneth Rogoff. But it is good, every so often, to do what Leonhardt does on a regular basis–cut through the vast amounts of politics and theoretical gas surrounding our current economic woes and remind ourselves about the heart of the matter. The recovery is going to take time.

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