Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Monday, December 04, 2006

On Chris Lydon's Open Source Radio, December 4, 2006

Here it is:

Chris Lydon Open Source Radio: Barney Frank's Grand Bargain

Barney Frank wants to make a deal... a Congressionally-mediated "Grand Bargain" between economic populists and free traders. The populists get federal subsidies for health care, an increase in the minimum wage, more freedom to create unions and better access to college loans. The free traders get, well, free trade.

Health care and free trade have long been debated as unrelated subjects, but like Lyndon Johnson... Frank is attempting the impossible. He accepts that tariff-free borders are crucial to long-term economic growth, and that long-term economic growth is, in fact, good for everyone.

At the same time, he points out that economic dislocation is particularly hard on the ones being dislocated, and that perhaps a part of what voted the Democrats in this year is a general sense that even if the economy is doing well right now, we the people are not.

Is such a bargain even possible? Who has to give up what? Is there a such thing as a win-win in American politics?

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