Saturday, October 27, 2012
So GDP is growing at about 2 percent. (That's not the same as "the economy.") The rub is that it's driven by consumer and government spending. Real economic growth requires investment, and investment has not recovered. But private (real) investment requires savings--that is, deferred consumption. So increased consumption is not a path to economic growth. Increased sustainable consumer spending is an effect not a cause of economic growth.
Government of course tries to stimulate consumer spending, since policymakers are stuck in the Keynesian mindset (that is, uninterested in the time structure of production). One way it does this is by keeping interests abysmally low. Why save if you get so little for your money, perhaps less than the increase in the CPI? You're just losing purchasing power.