Who Makes Policy Campaign 2016 Edition

Op-Ed: “Benchmarking the candidates’ debate: Just how much do presidents really influence the economy?”

This is an interesting Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post by Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist to Vice President Biden, and senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

In this piece, Mr. Bernstein asks the question “Do presidents really influence the economy, how? And by how much?” He cautions voters to be wary of bogus claims like Donald trump’s claim of creating 2.5 million jobs over the next decade by cutting taxes and widespread deregulation.

According to this article, there are two major ways a president can help improve the economy, “First, enact policies that steer more opportunities to those who’ve been left behind by structural economic changes that tilt against them or embedded problems such as racism and poverty? Second, enact policies to help offset the next recession with robust counter-cyclical policies, an area where a president can make a real difference”

And let’s not forget the role the Congress plays influencing the final results of policies proposed by presidents.

The article concludes “outside of some public investment (including human capital, such as early childhood interventions), it has never been clear what presidents can do to boost productivity growth, especially in the near term.”

I have mixed feelings about Mr. Bernstein’s analysis, I understand that a lot of the economic changes are due to non-immediate and aggregate factors that over time lead to results we see as with what happened in the 2008 recession or what is happening now with trade and manufacturing jobs but I would still like to believe that the economic decisions made by the presidents go a long way in determining the economic climate and economic future of a country

Author: o.oyewo


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