Back in March, the former Fed chairman said that we're in trouble because "productivity is dead in the water, and real capital investment is way below average because business people are very uncertain about the future." Greenspan went on to add that entitlement programs are crowding out capital investment, and thus crowding out productivity."
Alan Greenspan is back delivering more warnings about the state of the global economy, hammering home the same key points made back in March.
"We have a global problem of a shortage in productivity growth and it's not only the United States but it's pretty much around the world, and it's being caused by the fact that populations everywhere in the Western world are aging, and we're not committing enough of our resources to fund that. We should be running federal surpluses right now not deficits. This is something we could have anticipated twenty five years ago and in fact we did, but nobody's done anything about it. This is the crisis which has come upon us."
Of course nobody has done anything about it Alan, your prior employer makes it so that precisely zero fiscal accountability needs to take place.
Entitlements are still a hot button issue with Greenspan (as they should be for everyone), saying that if we don't fix this issue we're headed for a disaster. Greenspan wants entitlements (and the America's inability to fund them in any way shape or form) to be the central issue of the presidential debate.
"Entitlements are crowding out savings, and hence capital investment. Capital investment is the critical issue in productivity growth, and productivity growth in turn is the crucial issue in economic growth. We're running to a state of disaster unless we turn this around."
"This should be the central issue of the presidential debate. Unless and until we can rein in entitlements, which have been rising at a nine percent annual rate in the United States and comparable levels throughout the world, we are going to find that productivity is going to maintain a very low rate of increase"
Greenspan also doesn't really view recession as the biggest problem right now, he is concerned (rightfully so) about the longer term problem of low economic growth and soaring entitlement growth.
"I don't think that's our problem. Our problem is not recession which is a short-term economic problem, I think youhave a very profound long-term problem of economic growth at the time when in the Western world there is a very large migration from being a worker to being a recipient of social benefits"
As we said last time, Greenspan spoke some truthiness for once, if only he hadn't gotten us into this mess in the first place.