More public investment, not less, could lift advanced economies out of their malaise
Western nations are caught in a low-growth trap, with tricky political choices to make – but there is a way out
The past 15 years have been the most difficult for western economies since the 1920s and 1930s. Public anger has risen as living standards have been squeezed by a prolonged period of weak growth. American politics is as ugly as it has ever been, while parties of the far right have emerged as powerful political forces in Germany, Italy, Austria, Finland, France and Sweden.
The new age of anger is a far cry from the six decades between 1948 and 2008. Sure, there were recessions – often deep ones – during that period, but growth resumed and living standards bounced back. Certainly, there were protests – sometimes prolonged, as in the demonstrations against the Vietnam war – but the young people who marched eventually secured a stake in the system.