15 years of lousy GDP growth

Since 2000, our GDP has averaged 1.9% growth.  By contrast, the similar period starting in 1930 and ending in 1944 had a 5.6% rate of growth, and the 15-year period starting in 1970 achieved 3.0% average growth.

The U.S. is in a prolonged economic slump, the worst in a century if you consider that our long-term growth performance has been trending downward and below 3.5% for a decade and a half, longer than in the 1930s.  This chart shows average annual growth over rolling 15-year periods, since 1901-15.

What can be done in this election cycle?  Pundits dismiss Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump as unserious candidates.  Perhaps they are unserious.  But Americans tell pollsters that the 2008-09 recession hasn’t ended.  So it may be that when voters hear Fiorina say she wants to 86 the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and Trump says he wants to renegotiate with the Mexicans and Chinese, voters will hear conviction, a quality missing from the “we must create jobs” mantra of candidates who lead in the polls.

The U.S. has allowed its economic muscle to turn to fat.  Gallup reports that even in a time of heightened awareness about terrorism and racial tension, worries about the economy and paying for health care are the top issues.  You wouldn’t know that to listen to the candidates.  A Fiorina or Trump who understands how business works, and how the Democrats tear businesses apart, and is willing to jettison the PC blather, could make a lot of political headway this year.