Recommended Reading: Partha Dasgupta's "Economics: A Very Short Introduction"

Preview of The 2017 Economic Report of the President whitehouse gov

Should-Read: Jason Furman et al.: The 2017 Economic Report of the President: "President Obama was faced with the daunting task of helping to rescue the U.S. economy from its worst crisis since the Great Depression...

...The forceful response to the crisis helped stave off a potential second Depression, setting the U.S. economy on track to reinvest and recover. Rebuilding... alone... was never the President’s sole aim.... The Administration has also worked to address the structural barriers to shared prosperity that middle-class families had faced for decades: the rising costs of health care and higher education, slow growth in incomes, high levels of inequality, a fragile, risky financial system, and more. Thanks to these efforts, eight years later, the American economy is stronger, more resilient, and better positioned for the 21st century than ever before....

After eight years of recovery, it is easy to forget how close the U.S. economy came to another depression during the crisis. In fact, by a number of macroeconomic measures—including household wealth, employment, and trade flows—the first year of the Great Recession saw declines that were as large as or even substantially larger than at the outset of the Great Depression in 1929-30. However, the forceful policy response by the Obama Administration and partners across the Federal Government—including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and subsequent fiscal actions, the auto industry rescue, a robust monetary policy response, and actions to stabilize the financial sector—combined with the resilience of American businesses and families to help stave off a second Great Depression. As a result, the unemployment rate has been cut from a peak of 10.0 percent in the wake of the crisis to 4.6 percent in November, falling further and faster than expected.

The U.S. economy has made strong progress in the eight years since the crisis.... Real wage growth has been faster in the current business cycle than in any since the early 1970s, and wage growth has accelerated in recent years. The combination of strong employment and wage growth has led to rising incomes for American families. From 2014 to 2015, real median household income grew by 5.2 percent, the fastest annual growth on record, and the United States saw its largest one-year drop in the poverty rate since the 1960s...

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