Tuesday, September 13, 2011

US is collapsing: ex-treasury secretary

A former US treasury secretary says the United States is collapsing due to a major economic crisis and needs long-term economic plans to recover.
In an article written for Newsweek, Lawrence Summers commented on US President Barack Obama's short-term plan, saying, “We need not a one-year but a 10-year commitment to rebuilding the country.”
Summers, who was treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, said the United States is underperforming, millions are out of work, and tens of    millions have depressed incomes.
Referring to Obama's recent address to Congress on job creation, he added, “Obama was clear about what everyone, from storekeepers to economists, from corporate CEOs to unemployed workers, knows: until there is more demand for their products, firms will not hire more workers.”
Summers said Obama was right to focus on creating demand, noting that to create demand the country's crumbling infrastructure should be rebuilt.
“If a moment when the government can borrow for 10 years at less than 2 percent (and) when unemployment among construction workers is well into double digits… is not the moment for infrastructure investment, it is hard to imagine when that time will come,” he argued.
He warned that the economic situation will continue to deteriorate “if government does not do its part in pushing the economy forward -- not just this year, but for years to come.”
Lawrence Henry Summers served as the 71st US treasury secretary from 1999 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton. He was the 27th president of Harvard University from 2001 to 2006. Summers also directed the US National Economic Council for President Barack Obama until November 2010.

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