Blogs > Liberty and Power > "Limping" Economic Growth?

Aug 8, 2005 1:06 pm

"Limping" Economic Growth?

At the end of a story about Marines who dislike Kerry, the NY Post throws in this little comment:

In Harrisburg, Kerry noted that there was more bad news coming out of the financial markets yesterday, with oil prices reaching new highs and economic growth limping along at three percent.

"Limping" along at three percent? Yes, that was short of the 3.7 percent that was the consensus prediction by economists who make their living predicting stuff like this, but "limping"? Most countries in the world would kill for three percent annual growth, and that growth rate dwarfs the average annual growth rates throughout human history, even throughout the last 200 years. It is about dead average for US history. It's fine to say that three percent is "disappointing" compared to expectations, but it is still a robust rate of growth that, if continued over time, would significantly enrich any country who had it in fairly short order. Income and output would double in just under 25 years at that rate.

Now if "limping" was Kerry's word, then I suppose I could say that's just politics, but I'm not willing to let him off that easily. Again, disappointing and limping are two different things and some historical context is always useful. If the word was the Post's, well then, I'll just let that be.

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Bill Woolsey - 8/1/2004

Doesn't it depend on where you start?

The poor employment numbers suggest that
there is a need to "catch up" from the
last recession.

OF course, that approach requires that one
believe that recessions sometimes involve
production below capacity. And particularly,
that the last one did.

Bill Woolsey