America’s Lost Decade of De-Regulation, Privatization, and Tax Cuts

The arguments over raising the debt ceiling have all but completely obscured the underlying  economic problems we are facing in Nevada and the rest of the nation.  Republicans offered three necessary conditions for economic growth in 2000:  De-regulation, Lower Taxes, and Privatization.  Now, let’s see how that worked out.

Were jobs created?  No.

Neil Irwin looked at the job creation levels in the last 70 years and could only report that there had been ZERO net job creation during the decade.

Lawrence Summers describes the issue in a more general context.

This extremely handy chart from the Wall Street Journal compares job creation during the American presidencies since Harry Truman.

Michael Mandel provided a graph for his Business Week post showing the private sector almost non-existent job growth during the decade from 2000 to May 2009.

There is another, slightly more elaborate, chart showing the same lack of job growth available from The Big Picture economics blog. (RIHoltz)


Was there a significant improvement in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product? No.   “Real GDP in America grew by an average of 1.9% a year during the 2000s. This may not sound all that terrible, especially for a decade that saw one short recession and another particularly deep and long one. But it is the economy’s worst performance for a long time. During the previous six decades, average growth was 3.9% a year. Only the 1930s—when growth was a mere 0.9% a year—were worse.”  [The Economist]

Trading Economics has a very useful chart generation interactive page from which we can see what happened during the decade of low taxes, privatization, and deregulation.   Here’s what the Economist was talking about:

Was there a substantial improvement in non-farm payrolls?  No.  Let’s take another look at the chart from the Economist:

Worse than not seeing substantial improvements in the percentage increase in non-farm payroll growth rates, during the 00’s the numbers actually went south.

So, in Nevada we might want to ask NV CD2 candidate Mark Amodei, or Senate candidate Dean Heller — If deregulation, lower tax rates, and privatization were supposed to be the answer to all our economic ills, then why didn’t the numbers prove that during the Lost Decade?


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