How is that economic recovery going? It may not feel like much, given that it’s progressing far more slowly and cautiously than after any other postwar recession. One of the themes we’ve been discussing for over four years is that given that the downturn was of a different kind, the upswing will be different as well. The term offered was “restructuring”, meaning that the economy we’re evolving towards is going to be very different from the one that spent the 2000s sputtering and failing. That takes time and effort.
The term is starting to catch on outside of Barataria as investors find opportunity in the new industries that are going to grow and prosper in this new world. That’s great progress. But as we’ve noted many times, the real restructuring takes a broader social, political, and legal reformation and agreement that has been woefully slow to develop. Enter Niall Ferguson, a Harvard History Prof and conservative bad boy to offer some new ways of looking at the growing malaise in the developed world in his forthcoming book, “The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die.” His points are worth discussing, especially on the left, because they offer some new perspective and potentially more fruitful debates than we’ve been having so far.