How the US economy is like Luke Wilson in “Idiocracy”

See for yourself. Our anemic economic performance since 2007 is . . . the best in the world?


Yes, it’s still a slow recovery that has yet to restore full employment, but, except for Germany, we’ve done better than any of our counterparts in Europe that also experienced a financial crisis.

“The ordinary will be considered extraordinary.”

I was going to say something about the folly of austerity policies (spending cuts and tax increases) during an economic slump, which is true insofar as US budget policy has been only mildly contractionary while our European counterparts have embraced austerity and all but one have sick economies to show for it, but that one is Germany, which was slightly ahead of the US as of 2013:Q2 (data for 2013:Q3 and Q4 were not available for the European countries). Germany’s economy¬†defies easy explanation. Maybe Germany should be Luke Wilson’s character and the US can be Maya Rudolph’s.

(For anyone who’s not familiar with “Idiocracy,” here’s the trailer.)

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4 Responses to “How the US economy is like Luke Wilson in “Idiocracy””

  1. Chris Says:

    “…our European counterparts have embraced austerity and all but one have sick economies to show for it, but that one is Germany.” That sure oversimplifies things to a great extent. Countries like Greece and Portugal weren’t “embracing” austerity as you claim, but were kicking and screaming as it was implemented, whereas Germany was actively encouraging it as a condition for EU financing to continue. The chart also assumes every country went through the same degree of financial issues at precisely the same quarter as the U.S. Perhaps the Luke Wilson you should compare is the Luke Wilson before and after time shifted.. Our approach now,is like being the smartest guy on in the remedial class. The recent U.S. growth is the worst in history: The world has faced much more challenging financial issues than the Financial Crisis of 2007-8. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show austerity policies have hurt or helped those economies that implemented it as a result.

  2. democommie Says:

    It started in 2007? It’s ALL George Bush’s doing? He’s a economik jeenyus as well as a diplomat? Whodathunkit!?

  3. Chris Says:

    Oswego, NY and Spearfish, SD are two towns with between 10-20k people, have small thriving universities, a hospital, and summer tourism. Demographically, the populations are similar, with Spearfish being a bit younger. However, that’s where the parallels end. The unemployment rate in Spearfish, at just over 3%, is about a third of Oswego’s. School spending per capita in western SD is much lower than upstate NY, but school performance favors SD. There is a feeling of vibrancy in Spearfish; the town is growing, businesses are arriving and expanding, which is not found to the same degree in Oswego. SD, one of the most pro-business states in the U.S. has no state income tax; most local revenue is obtained from property taxes and sales taxes. Taxes are some of the lowest in the U.S.. NY, rated the least friendly state for business in the country, has some of the highest taxes, stifling laws on businesses that prevent job creation upstate, requiring a never-ending dependency on the city for financial transfers. It may make more sense to compare two cities with different economic approaches within the same country, as it controls for more variables than, say, comparing the U.S. economy with Ukraine’s.

  4. democommie Says:

    I’m not sure why that 19 day old comment is still sitting in moderation but that’s not why I’m commenting.

    Ranjit, I tried to send an e-mail to you and it bounced.

    I was curious if there was any data about what would happen to all of the urgent care and ER facilities if, all of a sudden, people didn’t HAVE to use them because they lack insurance.

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