A dear friend asked about my reaction to Michael Boskin’s piece in the WSJ today.:
He–my friend, not Mr. Boskin–is obviously at the beach without sufficient distraction, otherwise he wouldn’t give a rip what I thought.
But here’s my reply to his email:
Ok, so here’s my read.
First, anybody at Hoover is just so concerned about irrelevance that they’ll say almost anything to get published.
Second, neither of these candidates has articulated an economic plan that works (not to promote my blog, but the two Fallows pieces I posted yesterday are really good reading). We have a $14 trillion debt and will hang another half trillion on that next year, plus interest paid to the chinese, japanese, russians, and various emirates, none of whom especially likes us. To me, that is issue #1 that nobody is talking about, just like nuclear proliferation is #1 in foreign policy. The reason nobody talks about either is that the problems are so hard to solve. Pete Peterson is on the right track with iousa, but his implementation seems a little out there.
I know Boskin didn’t write the headline, but “recipe for recession” is an impossibly small-bore rx to a bigger problem. It’s like saying “my breakfast was really expensive at the Dorchester” when the real problem is the perilous state of the dollar.