Three? Why Not Four?

There's a cottage industry of journalism that operates by taking the absurd shit that Donald Trump says seriously and then spinning out the policy that could make it happen . . . the latest iteration of Pretending-Trump's-Words-Actually-Mean-Something-Journalism analyzes Trump's promise to grow the economy three percent per year (or even four percent! why not? if you're just saying completely unfounded bullshit, why not ramp it up?) and the new episode of Planet Money is a perfect place to start investigating this great great beautiful premise; here is a fast and loose summary of the some of the ways we could spur our economy to three percent growth and beyond:

1) we take in 40 million immigrants . . . essentially take in the same number of immigrants the country has absorbed in the last 80 years, but we do it in ten years  . . . more people means more workers, more stuff, more consumption . . . but Trump and his supporters would probably find this antithetical to Wall politics . . . he'd have to switch his rhetorical symbol to a giant Water Slide across the border;

2) incentivize people to work longer; America is aging-- the cohort that brought us all the growth, the Baby Boomers, are retiring and that is costly and a major impediment to economic growth-- if we could get old people to stay in the workforce longer, making money, consuming, and not taking their pensions and social security and retirement benefits, that would help . . . especially if they died before retirement!

3) make everyone work . . . zero point zero unemployment-- but this means no stay at home moms, no stay at home dads, no lazy people, no one can stay home to take care of a sick or elderly relative, and rich people and incarcerated people will have to work full time as well . . .

4) America invents something so groundbreaking and essential that everyone needs it . . . like the computer or the electrical grid  (and the appliances that go with it) or the highway system . . . but the problem is we've grabbed all that low-hanging fruit and there doesn't appear to be some groundbreaking invention on the horizon, just incremental advances in the technology we have (but one can always dream of teleportation and nano-assemblers)

5) we just pretend we have three percent growth and accuse anyone who says otherwise of being part of a liberal media conspiracy designed to bring the President down.

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