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In which John plays as Swindon Town, and discusses the economy.
Hello, and welcome to Sports With John. Today I am going to be playing Swindon Town, my beloved Swindon Town. We're playing a friendly against K.S. Chuggington, I believe their name is. And we're gonna start here.

So, I thought for today's video (this is the line-ups or whatever) I thought for today's video I would try to play a game while also answering questions that you might have, and that this is kind of gonna be a new model. Because, you know, for people who don't inherently find playing FIFA that interesting, maybe I can offer you both entertainment and edification.

So the idea is that I play, and you learn. Like I said, I'm playing Swindon Town, my beloved Swindon Town. The idea is that I'm going to take Swindon Town all the way to the Premier League, although because I lack any kind of talent at this game that's probably a bit of a long shot.

Oh, that was a shot. I meant a pass. I'm not very good yet.

So the question I wanted to answer to day is "What is wrong with the wrong with the United States economy?" submitted by Twitter. Or via Twitter, not by Twitter. Twitter is what's right with the United States economy.

Look at the ball movement for Swindon Town. Look at that. Let's just enjoy this for a second. Ooof.

So, here's what's wrong with the US economy, I can tell you pretty quickly. We are not consuming enough, and we are also not producing enough, and so our economy is not growing as fast as we'd like. The reason that jobs aren't being created in this economy is pretty complicated, but it all boils down to that. The economy is not growing as fast as it needs to grow in order to create jobs. Now, some people will say, "Oh, it's companies' faults for not hiring," but we live in a capitalistic society, and you can't really blame companies for not hiring if they don't feel comfortable hiring.

So, the question is "What is the solution?" And that's an interesting problem that the President and Congress are facing right now. And they're debating this, and I guess Obama's gonna make a big speech on Thursday. And in that speech, he is probably not going to propose what all economists in the world wish he would propose. I'm gonna tell you what that is, and then I'm gonna tell you why he isn't gonna propose it.

We're 16 minutes into the game, and I think it's safe to say that here and there, our friendly debut Swindon Town don't look particularly strong. By the way! I'm playing in this game somewhere, there's a player named John Green but I can't find him. He hasn't been involved in the action much. Augh, that's great defending, Guy.

So here's the thing. What would really work... Is that John Green? No. Where is John Green? GOA-- Ohhhh, wide left. Typical, typical play from Swindon Town.

Here's what would really work, and it's not gonna be done. What would really work would be a second stimulus package. One of the surprises of the stimulus to a lot of economists and a lot of amateur observers--

[SWI - #21 J. Green, 24'] THERE'S a goal! There's a goal. From John Green! JOHN GREEN! John Green gets that in the back of the net 10 times out of 10, and it happened.

So, a lot of economists would like to see a stimulus package because the stimulus plan that Obama came out with in 2008 - which was very unpopular with a lot of economists - worked. And in fact worked really, really well at making the recession less deep than it otherwise would have been at temporarily creating jobs. Problem is that it didn't work in terms of-- it didn't work forever, because it wasn't intended to last forever, and indeed it didn't last forever. John Green has a breakaway. So, um... ah.

[SWI - #21 J. Green, 28'] John Green puts it in the back of the net again. How do you like them apples? You can't stop him. I don't know why he's bald, by the way. I'm gonna work on that. I'm gonna try to get him to grow some hair and possibly a mustache.

So, the stimulus plan wasn't created to, y'know. It was created to simulate the economy, not to replace the economy, and when the stimulus spending stopped we noticed that public sector job growth didn't just stop, it decreased. Which was kind of the plan, but that private sector job growth would grow, when it didn't.

So, what would really work - and you find an interesting coalition of people now, who are in favor of a stimulus. And that includes traditionally very conservative places, like Chamber of Commerce for instance, which is, you know. I don't think that the United States Chamber of Commerce has ever endorsed a democratic candidate for president, certainly, and they won't be endorsing President Obama in 2012. But they're in favor of another stimulus. Lots and lots of economists are.

The reason it will never happen is because it's completely politically inviable in this time of talking about deficits and debts to spend a trillion dollars of government spending to (unnecessary slide tackle, that's gonna be a penalty. I agree, that was my mistake.)... To spend a trillion dollars of tax money (Great save) on... Y'know, on stimulus. It's just not gonna happen.

The reason it's not gonna happen is because, even though it wouldn't actually affect the deficit necessarily, it will seem like it's going to affect the deficit. And we live in this kind of sad political world where there's a lot of emphasis on scoring political points and not enough emphasis on doing what's right. But most economists agree that a stimulus would be pretty useful right now, but only if it came in concert with some actual deficit reduction. Which would mean long-term deficit reduction over the next five or ten years. For instance, there's quite a lot of talk about doing some sensible cutting of Medicare, for instance. That could probably save us a lot more money over five years than the stimulus (great, that's...that was the wrong button) ... than the stimulus would cost us. So if we could save 3 or 4 trillion dollars and spend a trillion dollars in stimulus, we could probably avert a double-dip recession year, and also not increase our overall public debt over the next five years.

Sadly, that's probably not gonna happen. But I wanna talk in the second half here. I'm already up two-nil, not to brag, against K.C. Chuggington, the juggernaut of the Third League of Bulgaria. I have no idea where these guys play.

I genuinely don't think this is a partisan problem. Like, I don't think this is a Republican problem or a Democratic problem or anything like that. But, we're having trouble getting anything done in Washington, if you haven't noticed. And the reasons for that are pretty interesting.

[SWI - #21 J. Green, 50'] As interesting as that goal by JOHN GREEN WHO JUST GOT HIS HAT TRICK. Oh, man, if that guy had hair, he would be amazing. Look at that. Just waits for it. Just, beautiful finish.

So why is it that the environment has become so much more partisan than it used to be, that everybody is interested in scoring political points, that there's much less general interest in making smart decisions? Like, why is it that when a lot of economists across the political spectrum of economists are agreeing that we should do something, we still don't do it? The answer to that is that, I think, most people in Congress are more afraid, like, they have a greater chance of losing their seat in Congress during a primary than they do in the actual general election.

For those of you (oh, wrong button) who aren't American, let me briefly explain how this works. (Augh, little bit wide there. John Green should have taken that shot. John Green gets that 10 times out of 10.) So, before you get to be in the general election if you're a Congress person, you have to win your party's primary. So if you're a Republican, you have to beat all the other Republicans who want to be the Congress person, and if you're a Democrat you have to beat all the other Democrats.

[SWI - #21 J. Green 60'] John Green four goals! Achievement unlocked. I'll say! He's so good at being a soccer player. He reminds me a lot of me. You know, I was a great striker in my day, as a seven year-old soccer player.

So you gotta win your primary before you can win the election. And because most congressional districts, because of redistricting over the last 20 or 30 years, most congressional districts are overwhelmingly Republican or Democrat. Like, they're, you know, 90-10 in a lot of cases for registered voters who are Republicans versus Democrats. And, that's a really interest... (sorry, I keep saying that's really interesting because I'm trying to play soccer while I talk). But that's a big problem, because it means that, if you're the Democratic nominee in, you know, the upper-west side of Manhattan, you are going to win. There is no chance (nice cross, there, big guy), there is no chance that you're gonna lose.

And so, the only threat to you is in the primary. The only threat to you is that someone comes along and says "You're not liberal enough," or "You're not conservative enough. So we're gonna get rid of you." This pushes our representatives to the extremes, to the poles of our political system, so that they have to, what's called, Pleasing the Base, right? They have to please the base. They have to make sure that the hardcore people who go out and vote in the Republican primary or the Democratic primary, that those people are excited to vote for them.

And that leads to, I think that really fuels the gridlock in America, because instead of having a conversation where everybody says "You know, both the Chamber of Commerce and the unions - two groups of people who rarely agree about anything - and a lot economists think that it would make sense to have a stimulus with a deficit reduction package. And that deficit reduction package could look like X, Y or Z, but as long as it reduced the deficit more than the stimulus would increase it, then it's not a problem."

Instead of saying that, we all just say, "Well, we know in advance that the last thing that we need to do is spend more money." Well, we're going to be spending more money one way or another, so that's not quite the discourse to have.

So, that's a lot of my disappointment right now with the American political system. And I don't think there's an easy solution to it, because that redistricting stuff, it happened over a long period of time, and it's gonna take a long period of time if we're going to really address it. And there's really no political will to address it, because people who are in Congress like having these, you know, or at least they think it's good for them to have these districts that are 90% Democrat or 90% Republican because they think it allows them to keep getting elected. In fact what it does is it just pushes them further and further away from the values that initially made them want to be in public service.

OH NO. Oh, somehow that guy managed to miss. That was pretty poor there, F.C. Chuggington. Brono-Bronowicki. I bet I said that wrong. 100% says I said that wrong. Flis is coming on.

I want to see if I can get John Green one more goal here in the last 8 minutes of this epic win for Swindon Town. Hopefully this will be the first in a series of videos in which it takes Swindon Town to the very heights, to places they've never visited before. I am a huge fan of Swindon Town, since their miraculous win over Arsenal in a game of FIFA 11 I played with my brother, and I believe deep in my heart that this team could be the next Chelsea. That is, the next club, with absolutely no history, to buy their way to Premier League success. Sorry, Chelsea fans! You know I'm a Liverpool supporter, it's nothing personal. I do like a lot of the players from Chelsea, and I like the way they uh...

Alright. Um... What else was I gonna say?

Anyway, I think that's the problem with our economy. I think that the ultimate problem with our economy is the political problem. But there is some sort of inherent economic weakness that we have.

Also! I should mention, that the biggest problem with our economy right now is Europe. Which is not our fault. Europe's failure to get their debt in order is a big, big problem. But that's for another day. For today, we're in the 90th minute, and I'm not gonna be able to rant about how much I hope Germany and The Netherlands are willing to take on a lot of Greek debt.

Look at that score line! J. Green, J. Green, J. Green, J. Green. You can't stop him! Can't stop him. He's just, you know. He puts the ball in the back of the net 10 times out of 10.

Alright. Thanks for coming and watching Sports With John. as you can see, J. Green, Player of the Match, 9.7 Performance. You will not see me and I will not see you. But, I will be playing FIFA with Swindon Town again soon.

Best wishes.

[vs. Ruch Chorzów: W 4-0

SWI: J. Green 24', 28', 50', 60']