As the Great Recession slips deeper into the past, it is important to remain aware of our current position in the business cycle. Benjamin Franklin was once quoted: “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” To these two basic certainties, a third should be added. It would then read: “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and a continuation of the business cycle.”1 The business cycle (or economic cycle) never pauses, never stops, and is always defining and redefining our fiscal status and economic health. The only way not to be completely subject to it is via Franklin’s first certainty–death–which is not a very attractive option. So, where exactly are we as the second half of 2017 unfolds?
Written by James W. Hughes, Distinguished Professor and Dean, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
Published Summer 2017.