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“Coastal Economist” Addresses Bristol Area Lions Club 04/26/2012

Posted by DS in meetings, speakers.
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Lion John Janell thanks economist Marcus Hutchins for his recent presentation to the Bristol Area Lions

At its most recent meeting the Bristol Area Lions Club welcomed Marcus Hutchins, who writes the Coastal Economist column for the Lincoln County News. A former treasury bond trader and a natural teacher, Hutchins resides in Southport and uses his newspaper platform to share his thoughts on macroeconomics and how its behavior impacts all of us.

Few understand our macroeconomy, especially when employment is high and many become lulled into complacency.  Unthinkable until it happened in October 1929, the Great Depression provided the opportunity to learn from mistakes. Lessons learned include the fact that commercial banks are vital to the economy, that banks need to be protected from themselves, and that a large concentration of wealth in a small group of people makes for a vulnerable economy.

All such difficult lessons came to bear again, added Hutchins, in the financial meltdown of 2008. He identifies five main spenders in the world—households, businesses, state and local governments, the federal government, and “the rest of the world.”  The federal government is the only one of those sectors that “can” spend more money than it earns. The “rest of the world,” which rarely spends much, forces trade deficits on the U.S. in order to garner dollars, which are the global reserve currency.

In Hutchins’ opinion, our federal deficit is actually too small. To put people back to work and to get them spending again, the US needs to raise its fiscal deficit, adding that now is a perfect time to re-enact WPA-type programs to rebuild our infrastructure. This would be in stark contrast to euro-based European economies, whose savings and austerity programs are creating devastating unemployment levels.

In the business meeting that followed Marcus Hutchins’ talk, last minute details about the Elmer Tarr Roadside Clean Up were covered, along with discussion about the upcoming Bristol Lions’ 2012 fundraising raffle. The Bristol Area Lions Club meets next on Monday, May 7 at 6 PM. To make dinner reservations for that meeting, please call 677-2095.  To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, contact John Janell at 563-7402

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