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The_outlaw_josey_walesThe Mainstream Economist

Well, the holidays are here. How’s the economic recovery going? I’m curious because a prominent economist assured us last year that late 2008 would be a distant memory come late 2009: “The S&P will be over 1,000 at the end of the year, and we’ll be happily sitting around the Christmas tree. It won’t be like last Christmas.”

That’s from early 2009. It’s a quote by Robert Gordon, a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s business-cycle dating committee. He is, in other words, part of the economics profession that has completely betrayed the public trust for the past ten years and has repeatedly misled us.

In Gordon’s defense, the S&P is over 1,100, but groceries have apparently climbed even more (have you priced a bag of potato chips lately?). Unemployment is over 10%, and that’s using the rosy statistics put out from D.C. If we use the same measures that were used in the 1930s, unemployment is near 20% (which is greater than rates in 1931, but lower than rates in 1933). Are those people happily sitting around the Christmas tree?

They should be. The recession ended in June, according to Gordon. Back then, unemployment was at 9.5%. Now it’s nearing 10.5%. Those dang fools without jobs aren’t smart enough to see that the recession is over. You need an expert economist to explain it to them. And those guys who are complaining about the economy because, though employed, they only get 32 hours a week? Well, they’re fools, too. They need to stop all that worrying, spend more of their money, and sit happily around the Christmas tree.

After all, a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s business-cycle dating committee has ordained it. Who are we to disagree?

Speaking of Unemployment

I saw this excerpt from the AP a couple of times this week:

The number of people filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 35,000 to 466,000, the Labor Department said Wednesday. That was the fewest since the week of Sept. 13, 2008. And it was far better than the 500,000 economists had expected.

Time for celebration! New unemployment claims were up only 466,000. Sure, that means the unemployment rate is still rising, but not as fast! And it’s “far better” than the 500,000 that economists predicted. Far better. It’s a whole 9% better!

Happy days are here again. Unemployment is increasing more slowly than it could! The MSM joins the mainstream economists and ordains it so!

To quote Fletcher from The Outlaw Josey Wales: “Don’t p*** down my back and tell me it’s rainin’.”

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