Debating whether the US is in a 'permanent slump'

Lawrence Summers
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The "secular stagnation" hypothesis put forward by former White House ecnomist Larry Summers at a recent International Monetary Fund conference—usefully translated as a "permanent slump" by Paul Krugman—is likely to continue to get a lot of attention.

Unfortunately, a lot of this "attention" will be very boring because it will mostly involve economists saying all the same sort of thing they would have said even without the introduction of the concept of secular stagnation.

Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is already up to it, insisting that one of the main things we need to learn is that "austerity is still bad." Anti-Keynesians, meanwhile, have started to attack the concept because it also strikes them as a justification for Keynesian policies.