As I prepare for a seminar on economics for today’s progressive, this particular post has come back to haunt me. It’s a bit subtle but hurts like a sledgehammer if you think about it. The bizzy whirl of my life as I prepare to announce my plans requires a repeat – and this one is standing out. Enjoy!
Back in the 1950s, people who studied complex things like economies felt they were making real progress. The general belief was that by understanding how it all worked we could even things out and usher in a new era of continuous prosperity that would benefit everyone.
Some of the underlying “facts” that were identified at this time have been accepted as simple truths. Growth is always good, and economic growth always flows to workers, making their lives better generation by generation. There’s only one problem lately – some of the “facts” appear to not be as true as they used to be. That means that the underpinnings of modern economic theory are all being questioned and, perhaps, if we don’t keep our eyes open the new era of prosperity will be far more elusive than anyone thought.