Leading Economics Bloggers Share Grim Outlook
The Kauffman Foundation has released the findings of its inaugural Economic Outlook: A Quarterly Survey of Top Economics Bloggers.
As we reported on Monday, more than 200 top economics bloggers who participated in the mid-January survey graded on an A to F grading scale U.S. institutions and organizations that influence the economy. They gave the highest marks to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and General Accountability Office (GAO), and to the "U.S. business community," and the worst marks to Wall Street firms (31 percent F's) and the U.S. Congress (51 percent F's).
Other findings include:
• 48 percent of economics bloggers said thatthe economy was "worse than official government statistics show." Mostrespondents rate the overall condition of the economy as "mixed," and33 percent say it is still "facing recession" or "weak and recessing."
• The bloggers expect the greatest growth prospects over the next three years to be in interest rates, inflation and the budget deficit. U.S. output and jobs are expected to increase, but with about half the intensity of growth in global output.
• The panel assesses conditions as “bad” or “very bad” for small business (52 percent) and bank lending to business (51 percent) and individuals (50 percent). The outlook for entrepreneurs is a relative bright spot, with opinions mixed between bad conditions (36 percent) and good (26 percent).
• Seven out of 10 bloggers say the federal government is too involved in economic matters, and they share a clear consensus for action. Tax cuts, especially on payrolls, are recommended, and three ways to cut the deficit had overwhelming support: Medical entitlements, Social Security and Defense should all be reduced.
• According to economics bloggers, the top three variables that policymakers should emphasize in a model of economic growth are human capital, innovation, and economic freedom.
Ten survey questions were designed in coordination with a distinguished board of advisors, which includes:
Robert X. Cringley – I, Cringely
Brad DeLong – Grasping Reality
Laurie Harting – Palgrave Econolog
Scott Jagow – Marketplace Scratch Pad
Paul Kedrosky – Infectious Greed
Lynne Kiesling – Knowledge Problem
Donald Marron – DMarron.com
Mark Perry – Carpe Diem
Wade Roush – Xconomy.com
Allison Schrager – FreeExchange
Nick Schulz – Enterprise Blog
Yves Smith – Naked Capitalism
Alex Tabarrok – Marginal Revolution
Mark Thoma – Economist’s View
The Foundation will be surveying the bloggers about their views of the economy, entrepreneurship and innovation every quarter to provide a new gauge for the nation’s fiscal health. “As independent thinkers who are immersed in discourse through the innovation of blogging, these economics writers have a unique voice and perspective, and potentially profound influence,” said Tim Kane, senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation and author of the study. “While they individually express themselves virtually every day, we think their collective voice needs to be heard.”