U.S. economy needs tonic, not talk
From one camp, the cry is clear and certain: The only thing missing from the U.S. economy today is demand, and the answer is for the government to supply it. From another, the cry is just as certain: We tried stimulus, and it didn't deliver. The Great Recession has bequeathed massive dysfunction—from the now-nationalized mortgage market to the 4.4 million Americans who have been looking for work for a year or more. The answer is targeted solutions, the "structural reforms" that rich countries used to prescribe when Latin American economies were chronically ill. And from a third camp comes yet another cry: It's the debt, stupid. Only when the U.S. lays out a credible business plan to show it isn't going to become the world's largest subprime borrower will confidence and hiring rebound.