Video Interview with Tyler Cowen (13 minutes)
Cowen raises an interesting point; this recession exposed structural problems that have been brewing in the U.S. for decades. In particular he thinks the U.S needs to improve its education system in order to sustain growth and innovation.
Economics as a profession is also open for reform. Cowen suggests that academic economists have become too specialized and don't have much to say - without devolving to partisan politics. This has created a niche for bloggers without pedigrees to weigh in with important ideas.
Despite a libertarian bent, Cowen supports more Fed action to help the U.S. economy recover.
For a good overview of the current state of the U.S. economy see:
(The Economist 8-27-2011) The Economy's Prospects
Here is a question for my students. What do you think about the relative merits of:
1. Further government spending in the short run (say on infrastructure),
perhaps linked to long term budget agreements.
2. Fed activity to lower long term interest rates
3. Tax and regulation reform