Warwick macroeconomic expert Roger Farmer proposes paying for social welfare programs with no tax hikes.
Jonah Whanau

2019-07-05 09:32:00 Fri ET

Warwick macroeconomic expert Roger Farmer proposes paying for social welfare programs with no tax hikes. The U.S. government pension and Medicare liabilities are $47 trillion in total. As Farmer suggests, national treasuries should establish social care funds, and these public funds borrow money at low interest rates and invest the proceeds in many international stock markets. A recent study analyzes data from OECD economies over a century and empirically shows that the average stock return is about 7% above the return on government bonds. Also, the average equity risk premium ranges from 3.8% in Denmark to 9.9% in Japan. Stock market idiosyncratic volatility may not fully accord with economic fundamental factors such as size, value, momentum, asset growth, operating profitability, and market risk etc. This volatility instead shows the animal spirits and sentiments of investors who often buy and sell shares on the basis of self-fulfilling prophecies of greed and fear.

When the government institutes social care funds, these public funds can smooth out short-term stock price gyrations to invest in the long-term fundamental health of the global economy. The key Farmer proposal may work well in practice as most public funds can then earn an average 4%-7% equity premium per annum.

 


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