Unfortunately, economic understanding of how government can revive an ailing economy is quite limited. It is not unlike our knowledge of surgery in past centuries: the instruments are blunt, we’re not very adept at wielding them, and there’s a good chance the intervention will cause more harm than good.
This does not mean, however, that we know nothing about the causes of prosperity. We may not know how to instantly breathe life back into a sick economy, but economists do know a great deal about how government can create an environment which is conducive to growth.
That’s me, in my written statement before the House Education and Workforce Committee. The topic was “Expanding Opportunities for Job Creation.”
The other witnesses included Michigan Governor Rick Snyder; Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy; the president of Ace Clearwater Enterprises, Kellie Johnson; and Dr. Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
My written testimony is here. You can watch my oral statement in the video below:
(My remarks begin at around 15 minutes and Chairman Kline asks me a few questions immediately after these).
My physician brother writes:
One small point is that I don’t think your analogy regarding surgery is particularly good…it is actually interesting that surgery now is done with many of the tools that the ancient Egyptians used. The difference now is more antibiotics rather than tools or the way they did it.