Jason Furman, Harvard's Kennedy School, Harvard discussed on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell


You don't hear. Economists say very often. What is i can. Here's something you've never heard any economist say quote. I have yet to find a blemish in this jobs report. I've never before seen such a wonderful set of economic data. That is what harvard professor. Jason furman said about the july jobs report and now the employment picture is looking even better joining us now. Is jason furman former chairman of the council economic advisers for president obama. He's currently professor of the practice of economic policy at harvard's kennedy school professor firm and i have to say In all of my hours in classrooms with economics professors. I don't ever remember the word wonderful being used for anything. It's called the dismal science for a reason what what is going on here. You know eight thirty. Am the jobs numbers. come out. i open the second. They come out the first number. I saw nine hundred forty three thousand jobs. That's just a really high number. I then went and checked about eleven. other numbers. The labor force participation rate the black unemployment rate the wage number. The number of people working part-time every one of those numbers improved in the month of july All moving in the direction we want them to move and we have unemployment. Go ahead employment number now. It were still in the pandemic. It's just extraordinary. Yup i mean if you'd asked me a year ago you would last me. Six months ago i would have thought it would take a lot longer to get to where we are now. We're definitely not all the way there. We have a lot to go on. The unemployment rate right now is five point four percent prior to the pandemic. It was three and a half percent. There's no reason we can't get back there Hopefully we can get a lot of the way back there by the end of this year but after the damage the economy went through last year It's healing more quickly than we've seen in previous recessions. Many which weren't as bad as this recession was and there is more fuel coming to the economy. If the infrastructure package gets through congress in whole or in part yeah absolutely and i think the president has build back better and he says build back better for a reason if we could return the economy. Exactly where it was in february. Twenty twenty That would be pretty good but it wouldn't be good enough on. That was an economy that had a lot of inequality that had not enough opportunities for people to work too many children not in preschool and of course an economy that wasn't on green enough so all of those things need to change. We don't just need to repair the damage A lot of what's coming next is to build something better and of course in the nature of infrastructure spending. It's not it's not a one year spending program the this kind of building go goes on for many years. The the building that will be authorized By the infrastructure bill and then the economic benefits of that of that work go on for years after the construction itself was completed. Yeah that's exactly right and it's such a great opportunity right now. A lot of this is being paid for The president has proposed tax increases on high income households and some Rollback of the corporate rate reduction of president trump. but also. Frankly i think we can borrow on. The federal government can borrow at a one point three percent rate right now. That's actually lower than the inflation rate and so when you're making an investment. The question is is that investment going to pay off over time. is it going to create economic growth. Is it worth the cost to that borrowing and there's an awful lot of investments that pass that test well and another thing built into the cost of this infrastructure. Bill is that there haven't been infrastructure bills for several years so if you've neglected the maintenance if you if you've the upkeep of course it's going to be more expensive than than doing regular maintenance yeah that's exactly right again you look at the federal debt. The federal debt doesn't include deferred maintenance. It doesn't include The cost of not investing in children and children that don't go to preschool. Don't grow up and succeed and have the earnings that they'd otherwise have so we have a whole lot of costs out there. In part of what. We're this is doing is recognizing them Addressing them sooner. And that's a smarter. More cost effective thing to do professor jason furman. Thank you very much for joining us tonight. Always appreciate it. Thank you coming up. The delta variant has.

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