The regular reader of The Financial Times might look at the April 6, 2021 essay of Janan Ganesh:
Headline: Biden shows that only moderates can govern from the left
Sub-headline: The US president’s reassuring blandness frees him to do big things
And then look to Edward Luce’s column of April 8, 2021, as reflections of each other?
Headline: Biden’s big fiscal gamble on America’s future
Sub-headline: Many obstacles stand in the way of the president’s infrastructure bill
Ganesh makes the argument that only Joe Biden, rather that Bernie Sanders, ‘can govern from the left’. Its ‘as if’ the Keynesianism of Bush The Younger has escaped Ganesh’s a-historical attention?
Mr. Luce opines about the ‘obstacles’ that stand in the way of the president’s infrastructure bill. These paragraphs, of his essay, features his former employer Larry Summers.
Nobody can be sure whether Biden’s roughly $5tn in new spending will lead to runaway inflation. Lawrence Summers, the former US Treasury secretary, puts the risk of inflation at about a third. He gives the same odds to the prospect that America will continue to enjoy non-inflationary growth. For what it is worth, the US bond market’s inflation expectations have leapt in the past few weeks. But neither the bond markets nor most economists foresaw the era of inflation that began in the late 1960s or the “great moderation” that replaced it in the 1980s.
Which leads to the odd situation where both the centrist Summers and the socialist Bernie Sanders are saying almost the same thing. Sanders believes Biden’s infrastructure bill is far too small. Summers believes the stimulus was far too big. Both may be right at the same time. It is worth stressing that investment spending is less inflationary than stimulus as, in principle, it boosts long-term productivity growth.
How much loyalty, to a former employer does a former employee owe? Larry Summers is not a ‘Centrist’, but an unapologetic Neo-Liberal, who was an enthusiastic proponent of the catastrophic Gramm-Leach-Bliley. The debt to former employers has to be paid? Not to forget Mr. Summers comments on women in Science. Here is a report on his weaseling self-apologetic:
And on the question of Cornell West:
Summers on checks:
SUMMERS: We should put money into the economy. The question is how much. If your bathtub isn’t full, you should turn the faucet on, but that doesn’t mean you should turn it on as hard as you can and as long as you can. And so the question isn’t whether we need big stimulus. The question is, do we need the biggest stimulus in American history? It’s the overall scale of the stimulus and it’s whether we’re using any of it to build a stronger economy or just to give money to people.
Mr. Summers has demonstrated his utter incompetence, in matters Economic, and his impolitic opinions, on matters outside the sphere of his vaunted ‘expertise’. A vexing question occurs to this writer: when will Ganesh, Luce and Summers call for the imposition of Austerity, as the necessary intervention, to maintain an ‘Economic homeostasis’? Its only a matter of time!