Potshot at Progressive Economics Misses the Mark
Dean Baker and Rob Atkinson debate whether progressive economics is focused on an agenda that advances growth, productivity, and innovation.
By Dean Baker
In his criticism of progressive economics, Rob Atkinson selectively ignores details that do not support his criticism and advances a mistaken view of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). First, Atkinson's basic economic story is more than a bit confused. He touts Germany and Japan as successes in contrast with the United States's failure. CEPR has praised certain aspects of Germany's labor market policy and its short-work policy, which have allowed Germany to lower its unemployment rate despite an economic downturn. That said, it's not clear that Germany and Japan have actually been successes in the way that Atkinson claims. German and Japanese productivity growth has consistently trailed that of the United States over the last 15 years. Though the gap is not huge, it certainly diminishes the contrast.