White House predicts economic disaster

After more than two decades of low productivity growth, the campacity of the American economy to turn inputs of labor and capital into valued products and services soared in the late 1990s. But in order to avoid predicting (what is certain to be true) that the country will have fewer people at work at the end of the current Presidential term than it had at the beginning, the Council of Economic Advisers has issued a forecase implying that, this year, productivity growth with fall to zero. (If the GDP rises by a reasonable amount, and if productivity keeps growing, then not very many jobs will be created.)

Brad DeLong has the details, and some speculation on how it came about that CEA issued a transparently phony set of numbers.

GAO investigation, anyone?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com