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Elections tend to be all about slickly packaged words, which is unfortunate, because as George Washington’s motto “deeds, not words” made clear, words are a poor excuse for deeds.
The United States is now enjoying a truly remarkable economic resurgence. Yet, it wasn’t all that long ago that we were trapped in the Great Recession, followed by the slowest and most anemic economic recovery since the Great Depression of the 1930s. And both situations – getting trapped in the Great Recession and getting out of it – were about deeds, not words.
Words - Similarity - Great - Depression - Great
When you get past all the words, the key similarity between the Great Depression and the Great Recession was a lack of business investment. Business investment in new machinery and technology is what drives increased worker productivity, and in the real world increased worker productivity is what drives increased wages. Without those two, the economy isn’t firing on all cylinders. But, both business investment and wages flat-lined during the Great Recession and the slow recover that followed, causing the economy to just sputter along in low gear.
We were told by the people in charge at the time that that was the new normal. America’s best days were behind us, our economy was destined to stagnate, our children could not expect the economic prosperity we had grown up in, and 2 percent GDP growth was the best we could do.
Scope - Reach - Government - Economy - Environment
It wasn’t. It was just the best they could do. And it was the best they could do because when you’re more focused on growing the scope and reach of government than on growing the economy, you create an environment that is hostile to business. Business owners, who are no less rational than you or me, don’t make new investments or expand in that kind of environment. So, we limped along.
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