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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Washington Post Tells Readers That the Possibility of a Rising Debt to GDP Ratio in a Decade Is a Bigger Problem than Millions of Unemployed Young People Today

Washington Post Tells Readers That the Possibility of a Rising Debt to GDP Ratio in a Decade Is a Bigger Problem than Millions of Unemployed Young People Today

Friday, 20 December 2013 06:16

According to the Congressional Budget Office the economy is currently operating at a level of output that is 6 percent (@ $1 trillion) below its potential. This lost output represents income that would primarily go to currently unemployed or underemployed workers, a disproportionate share of whom are young. If the economy were near full employment, lower paid workers, who are also disproportionately young, could expect to see higher wages.

If Congress was prepared to spend more money on infrastructure, education and other areas it could return the economy to full employment. Many people might think that the decision to maintain high levels of unemployment, with the enormous cost implied, is the biggest budget problem facing the country. But the Post told them otherwise, using a front page news article to tell readers:

"The deal makes no effort to solve the nation’s biggest budget problem: a social safety net strained by an aging population."

Most newspapers might reserve such editorializing for the opinion pages, but not Jeff Bezos' Washington Post.

Comments (8)Add Comment
anything that is in disagreement with Dean is opinion, Low-rated comment [Show]
written by Maynard, December 20, 2013 8:16
...the ratio of total public debt to GDP is 72 percent, hardly at crisis levels, and the deficit is falling fast. We don't have a debt crisis, and shrinking the deficit further and faster is job-killing. The austerians, like JC, operate under the assumption that this is all a morality play. We have to endure pain for recent excesses. The problem is it's always somebody else who has to endure it, not the rich bankers who caused it.
written by medgeek, December 20, 2013 9:02
You're right of course, but my suggestion is not to feed the trolls.
Selfish Interests
written by Jeffrey Stewart, December 20, 2013 11:45
"Jeff Bezos' Washington Post." -D. Baker

Really, should we expect anything more than WaPo editorials supporting policies that will make Mr. Bezos wealthier and workers more dependent on capitalists like him for their livelihoods?
debt to gdp
written by Joe, December 20, 2013 12:00
national debt-to-gdp is mostly irrelevant. You could rephrase it as national savings-to-gdp. Doesn't sound so scary now does it.

It's difficult to imagine a scenario where the public has too much savings (remember, public debt is private savings, where else would net dollar savings come from?).
tax the rich
written by djb, December 20, 2013 12:51
good, then hopefully Jeff Bezos won't mind paying more in taxes to help reduce the debt
written by watermelonpunch, December 20, 2013 9:35

Then maybe Bezos will agree to higher pay & better bargaining position for warehouse workers who toil in rough conditions without health insurance, so they don't need to rely so heavily on the safety net, and earn more money to pay more taxes to support the safety net.
Greece: money and support only for the banks
written by no more banksters, December 21, 2013 4:56
"The Greek banks have been bailed out with billions exceeding 90% of country's GDP since 2008. When citizens suffer from heavy taxes, unemployment strikes the Greek society, Greek economy faces deep recession and Greeks sink in poverty, it appears that Greek governments do have money, but only for the banks. Billions were given in bailouts, but no one knows where the money went and how they were exploited. The only thing that is certain is that they didn't go where they should go: to the real economy."


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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.