Before everyone gets all riled up and ready to vote out the bums who supposedly got us all into this mess, Harvard economist Edward Glaser cautions that elected officials vastly overstate their importance to the welfare of our economy. In other words, who cares at all who wins in November?
Glaser says that even the Federal Reserve’s target funds rate, probably the most powerful tool in the government’s economic woodshed, only plays a minor role in economic growth (or shrinkage). He also points to ex-Council of Economic Advisors chief Christina Romer’s research, which suggests that taxes — the great economic bogeyman — account for less than 10 percent of changes in GDP growth. As of yet, says Glaser, even the effects of the monumental stimulus package can’t be measured.
And so the best thing to do may be to chill out, build a cabin a couple miles outside Boston, and let the 9.6 percent unemployment rate sort its own self out. Contemplate how the economy of living, as opposed to political economy, is not even sincerely professed in our colleges. If the economy collapses, voters and politicians will only have themselves to blame, and even then, they’ll be wrong.