TheCounty Health Rankings are an annual report that ranks the health of each county in the country. Every year the release of the rankings creates a tremendous amount of media interest about which counties are doing better or worse.
In a recent op-ed piece in the New York Times, columnist Paul Krugman asked the question: “What if the world we’ve been living in for the past five years is the new normal? What if depression-like conditions are on track to persist, not for another year or two, but for decades?” Mr. Krugman’s piece was an evaluation of a recent presentation by Larry Summers at the I.M.F.’s annual research conference.
In that presentation, Mr. Summers talked about the danger that the U.S. and Europe economies are on track to repeat Japan’s ongoing post-1991 episode of “secular stagnation.” This term refers to the protracted economic depression characterized by a falling population growth, low aggregate demand and a tendency to save rather than to invest.
What conditions are giving rise to this speculation? Over the past 50 years, the Federal Reserve has cut short-term interest rates during recessions to spur economic growth. However, the Fed has cut the rate to zero and still we have had an extremely slow recovery. To put it succinctly, the Fed has done all it can to spur growth and the results are a “new normal”.
If this is the new normal, what does that look like in the Cincinnati MSA?...