13 Aug 2009

Clash of the Think Tank Titans

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The National Association of Manufacturers puts out an estimate of the economic impacts of Waxman-Markey (cap & trade)… The “Wonk Room” at ThinkProgress (Yglesias’ stomping ground) puts a rosy spin on it… The wonks at IER put a dandelion spin on it… Excerpt from the IER rebuttal:

Because of this natural trend for secular growth, it would be quite shocking if U.S. GDP actually fell from the year 2009 through 2030. Maybe a return of the bubonic plague, or an attack on California’s fault line by Lex Luthor, could yield such utter devastation as to keep total output stagnant over such a long period. To give some historical context, recall that the great stock market crash occurred in 1929, after which followed a decade of Depression. Yet real GDP in 1950 was more than double what it had been twenty-one years earlier, in 1929. So the fact that real GDP will continue to grow despite the imposition of Waxman-Markey is hardly reassuring; such logic would have “proved” the harmlessness of the Great Depression.

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