568 PART NINE THE REAL ECONOMY IN THE LONG RUN POLICY 1: TAXES AND SAVING American families save a smaller fraction of their incomes than their counterparts in many other countries, such as Japan and Germany. Although the reasons for these international differences are unclear, many U.S. policymakers view the low level of U.S. saving as a major problem. One of the Ten Principles of Economics in Chapter 1 is that a country’s standard of living depends on its ability to produce goods and services. And, as we discussed in the preceding chapter, saving is an important long-run determinant of a nation’s productivity. If the United States could somehow raise its saving rate to the level that prevails in other countries, the growth rate of GDP would increase, and over time, U.S. citizens would enjoy a higher standard of living. Another of the Ten Principles of Economics is that people respond to incentives. Many economists have used this principle to suggest that the low saving rate in
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This note was uploaded on 07/30/2010 for the course ECON 120 taught by Professor Abijian during the Spring '10 term at Mesa CC.