Martin Feldstein, Council of Economic Advisers Chairman under President Ronald Reagan, described some in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed.
- unemployment has declined to 7.6% from 8.2%
- there has been no increase in the ratio of employment to population
- no decline in the teenage unemployment rate
- virtually no increase in the real average weekly earnings of those who are employed
- decline in the number of people in the labor force in the past 12 months…exceeded the decline in the number of unemployed
The Fed’s forecast of substantial employment gains rests on the assumption that real GDP will grow by about 2.5% during the four quarters of 2013 and by more than 3% in 2014. That would represent a substantial rise from the growth rates of less than 2% in 2012, 1.8% in the first quarter of 2013, and a likely 1.7% in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, low interest rates are generating excessive risk-taking by banks and other financial investors. These risks could have serious adverse effects on bank capital and the value of pension funds.
Additionally, these moves have hurt our seniors, who depend on fixed income instruments for their income.
On the flip side, we have gained a substantially increased risk of high inflation.
In sum, cut it out.