Best Of The Web
“Here’s today’s economic quiz: Was the 2007-09 Great Recession more damaging than the Great Depression of the 1930s? Surely the answer is “no.” In the 1930s, unemployment reached 25 percent. By contrast, the recent peak in the jobless rate was 10 percent. Case closed.
Not so fast, objects economist J. Bradford DeLong of the University of California, Berkeley. “Fifty years from now, historians will … write that President Franklin Roosevelt, Congress and the Federal Reserve provided a collective policy response that was, if not optimal, at least respectable. … By contrast, they will [argue] that the responses of President Barack Obama, Congress and the Federal Reserve did not come up to the standard [set by] the mid-1930s policy-makers.”
Could DeLong be correct? The answer matters, because if he’s right, the economy — despite its present strength — faces a future of long-term sluggishness.
Writing in The Milken Institute Review, an economics journal, DeLong accepts the conventional wisdom that the rapid response of the Federal Reserve and Congress to the Great Recession — the Fed lowered short-term interest rates to near zero, and Congress passed a huge stimulus package of spending increases and tax cuts — prevented a second Great Depression. But his praise stops there.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."
"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."
"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"
"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."
"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""
"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "
"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."
"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."
"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."
"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."
"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."
"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"