He’s allowing the government to run large budget deficits — some of the largest ever outside wartime or recession — in the hopes that this will somehow put growth on a higher trajectory.Irresponsible as that might sound, it actually makes some sense.In the long run, economic growth is a function of two variables: population and productivity.For decades, America had plenty of both. Birth rates were ample, and any additional labor could be attracted from elsewhere.From 1947 to 2007, workers’ output per hour grew at an average annual rate of 2.3 percent.So for the most part, American presidents could focus on improving rather than reviving growth.But since the last recession, the picture has changed. In advanced economies, central banks have the tools they need to fight it.Slow productivity growth, by contrast, has become a real concern, especially as countries seek the resources to take care of aging populations and still invest in their futures.Republicans and Democrats may disagree on the best way to create deficits, whether it be tax cuts and military spending or investments in infrastructure and education. But the balance of risks leans toward trying this experiment.Be it the Trump administration or the next, someone was eventually going to take the gamble.Conor Sen is a Bloomberg View columnist. He is a portfolio manager for New River Investments in Atlanta and has been a contributor to the Atlantic and Business Insider.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Categories: Editorial, OpinionPresident Donald Trump is conducting a risky experiment on the U.S. economy. So the whole game becomes a big bet that deficits — created by the government’s tax cuts and spending plans — will boost productivity growth. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested as much last week when he said that the Trump administration’s policies could lead to wage growth without inflation, and that people shouldn’t worry about the forthcoming deficits.Ironically enough, this policy was espoused by the Bernie Sanders campaign (as my colleague Noah Smith has noted).The idea is that by running the economy hot and making labor more expensive, the government can induce businesses to do more investment than they would in a normal economy.Ever since the financial crisis, a weak economy has discouraged businesses from investing, leading to weaker productivity growth — so why not try the opposite? It’s a theory that hasn’t been tested in recent decades, but an intriguing one.What are the potential risks and rewards? Sticking with the status quo promises more of the same underperformance — annual real GDP growth of about 2 percent. The deficit experiment has two possible outcomes.In the best case, the U.S. gets some form of productivity miracle. In the other, rising inflation forces the Fed to raise interest rates to cool off the economy, triggering a recession.Most policymakers, economists, and investors aren’t worried about a period of inflation like what the world experienced in the 1970s. Labor-force growth is slowing as baby boomers retire. For a variety of reasons, some understood and some not, productivity has decelerated as well.The Obama administration largely accepted the new reality: In a 2016 report, it projected inflation-adjusted gross-domestic-product growth of just 2.2 percent for the next decade, and offered fairly traditional ideas such as immigration reform, more cross-border trade, infrastructure spending and education investments.Trump has taken a very different approach, aiming for annual growth of 3 percent over the next decade.This certainly won’t come from population, particularly given his administration’s attitude toward immigration.That leaves productivity, which some of his policies don’t do much to encourage, either.Tariffs on imports such as steel and aluminum will serve largely to make output more expensive.Tax cuts might prompt companies to make more productivity-enhancing investments, but the effect will likely be modest given uncertainty about how long the cuts will remain in place.
Russ Dickerson got the finishing touches on his IMCA Modified done in time to finish first in Saturday’s $1,000 to win Frostbuster feature at Boone Speedway. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)BOONE, Iowa (April 8) – After finishing repairs to the roof of his shop, Russ Dickerson put the finishing touches on his IMCA Modified.On Saturday, he finished first in the Frostbuster main event at his hometown Boone Speedway and started to turn his luck around with a $1,000 payday.“This was a pretty good way to start out the season and a good way to start the month,” said Dickerson, who’d lost the roof of his shop to a windstorm some four weeks ago. “We started eighth and everything worked out in our favor. We had some good luck for a change.”The new Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifier got the lead just after halfway in the 25-lapper. He ran the higher line until catching up with the back of the field, then used different lines to work his way through traffic.Jason Wolla, who’d won ahead of Dickerson in their heat, was second and Clint Luellen was third. Mike Van Genderen and Hunter Marriott completed the top five.“I saw Wolla several times. He wasn’t very far back,” Dickerson noted. “And Clint wasn’t far back in third.”Angel Munoz made the trip from Colorado and won the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature. He’d drawn the inside row four start after winning the final heat and passed Jay Schmidt en route to his career first feature victory in Iowa.“I followed Jay for a good handful of laps. He bobbled and I got the lead,” Munoz said. “Getting the win here is the highlight of my whole 15-year career. There’s always some pretty stout competition at the Frostbuster.”Michael Murphy ended in second and Schmidt was third.Jake McBirnie, Austin Luellen and Johnathon Logue Jr. ran 1-2-3 in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature. Eric Stanton was the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock winner, ahead of Solomon Bennett and Jack Phillips.Drivers from nine states and Canada vied in the second Frostbuster of the weekend. The finale, Sunday at Benton County Speedway in Vinton, will also be broadcast by IMCA.TV.Feature ResultsModifieds – 1. Russ Dickerson; 2. Jason Wolla; 3. Clint Luellen; 4. Mike Van Genderen; 5. Hunter Marriott; 6. Eric Elliott; 7. Todd Shute; 8. Adam Larson; 9. Bryce Garnhart; 10. Johnny Scott; 11. Kyle Brown; 12. Joel Rust; 13. Austin Wolf; 14. Randy Havlik; 15. David Brown; 16. Jesse Hoeft; 17. Kent Croskey; 18. Al Wolfgram; 19. Gatlin Leytham; 20. Joel Crowbridge; 21. Brandon Leeman; 22. Richie Gustin; 23. Todd Inman; 24. Don Geist. Stock Cars – 1. Angel Munoz; 2. Michael Murphy; 3. Jay Schmidt; 4. Marcus Fagan; 5. Trent Murphy; 6. Larry Karcz Jr.; 7. Randy Brands; 8. Jake Nelson; 9. Robert Stofer; 10. Kevin Opheim; 11. Brandon Pruitt; 12. Tyler Pickett; 13. Devin Snellenberger; 14. Josh Daniels; 15. Cody Gustoff; 16. Justin Nehring; 17. Jamie Suchocki; 18. Jared Hansen; 19. Rodney Richards; 20. Tyler Muirhead; 21. Terry Cornelison; 22. Wayne Gifford; 23. David Bouche; 24. Bret Koehler.SportMods – 1. Jake McBirnie; 2. Austin Luellen; 3. Johnathon Logue Jr.; 4. Sam Wieben; 5. Wyatt Block; 6. John Watson; 7. Ryan King; 8. Brandon Schmidt; 9. Cory Pestotnik; 10. Ethan Braaksma; 11. Chad Ryerson; 12. Curtis Veber; 13. Dusty Masolini; 14. Autumn Anderson; 15. Geoff Jeche; 16. Thomas Egenberger; 17. Bruce Belland; 18. Jeremy Ladue; 19. Anthony Onstot; 20. Brett Meyer; 21. George Nordman; 22. Hunter Longnecker; 23. Robert Moore; 24. Brian Efkamp.Hobby Stocks – 1. Eric Stanton; 2. Solomon Bennett; 3. Jack Phillips; 4. Bryce Sommerfeld; 5. Justin Wacha; 6. Kyle Sidles; 7. Tyson Overton; 8. Aaron Rudolph; 9. Dustin Graham; 10. Ryan Wells; 11. Korbin Nourse; 12. Dustin Lynch; 13. Zac Smith; 14. Davin McQuisten; 15. Chris Cox; 16. Jay Sidles; 17. Brian Derry; 18. Blair Halvorson; 19. Shane Butler; 20. Shaun Wirtz; 21. Dylan Nelson; 22. Todd Bass; 23. Matt McDonald; 24. Clint Nelson.
Andrew Walsh, a freshman at Bemidji State University in Minnesota, was named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Rookie of the Week this past week for his 36-save performance in a 2-1 victory over the number 13 ranked University of Denver Pioneers. Walsh posted a 97.3 save percentage and was a big reason why his team was able to keep their opponents scoreless on six power-play opportunities. It was also the first time Bemidji State defeated the Pioneers in the program’s history, including eight games dating back to the 1999-2000 season.Walsh was honoured earlier this year by being named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 26. He holds a 3-2-1 record this season with a team-best 2.69 goals-against-average and a 91.4 save percentage.Last season, Walsh played for the Dawson Creek Rage of the North American Hockey League, posting a 8-19-1 record with a 3.7 goals-against-average and a 90.2 save percentage, and recording one shutout.- Advertisement -He also played all three games for Team West during the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in February, 2011, helping the team to win the tournament with a 2-1 record over the other divisional teams.