(Cross-posted from Daily Kos)
Our economic situation has been all over the news. Banks are failing, credit is contracting, the auto industry is crying for a bailout. Clearly, the U.S. economy has gotten derailed, and we’re now faced with the unenviable task of getting it back on track. The trouble is, we don’t know which track is the right track.
Or do we?
Suppose there exists a valid interpretation of economic forces and outcomes, one that explains our current situation, yet one that no one will acknowledge, even to knock down.
About 12 years ago I picked up Cities and the Wealth of Nations: Principles of Economic Life by Jane Jacobs (better known as the author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities) at a used bookstore in upstate New York. Jacobs wrote this book in 1983, in response the emergence of stagflation. As an informed and educated layperson, she examined economic history with a critical eye and an urbanist’s heart, looking for the laws that explained what was going on — which the economic theories of the time did not.