U.S. economy IS stronger than stats (used to) say

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at SPAMOREGON.UOREGON.EDU
Fri Oct 29 19:20:36 MDT 1999

On Fri, 29 Oct 1999, Jose G. Perez wrote:

> * Inflation estimates have been revised downward; for GDP prices, the
> 1959-1998 average goes from 4.2% to 4.0%; the 1992-1998 average has gone
> from 2.0% to 1.9%.

These inflation estimates are a bit suspect; there was a big move to cook
the books and revise inflation downwards by neocon economists, mostly
because inflation didn't take into account "quality improvements" in
goods. Apparently the BLS tried -- and failed -- to resist the change.
Larger measures of GDP growth have not been stunning in the USA -- per
capita, we've grown as quickly as the EU and, since 1990, only slightly
faster than Japan.

> the world seem to profit much by it. The most obvious explanation would be
> that the United States capitalists are somehow eating everyone else's lunch,
> but how and why that is happening would need to be explained.

Stagnation in capitalist economies is relative; in reality, economies are
always in motion. What's been happening is that the US is importing $300
billion of foreign capital per annum (our net international investment
position is now close to minus $2 trillion). This is coming mostly from
Japanese and EU creditors, it seems. We're also investing far less as a
percent of GDP than our creditors are, and of course we continue to piss
away 25% of our Federal income tax revenues on military-industrial
boondoggles, whereas aforesaid creditors have continued to invest in their
civilian infrastructure. The long US decline continues, and the only real
question is, when will the EU yank the Yanks' financial chain?

-- Dennis

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