Tuesday, January 26, 2010

There's an economist born every minute

I get a kick out of reading the predictions of economists. Every since the recession hit [or rather since they actually began admitting it was a recession], every day there have been articles like this one telling us the economy is in recovery.

The only people who actually notice this recovery seem to be the economists. They tend to base their predictions on miniscule drops in new unemployment claims. My interpretation: If last month 500,000 people lost their jobs and applied for unemployment and this month 400,000 lost their jobs and applied for unemployment, the economy must be improving. One hundred thousand less people applied for unemployment and that’s a good thing, right? It seems to me they ignore the obvious – that there were 500,000 people out of work and now there are 900,000. We’re not supposed to look at it that way I guess.

It’s all ‘the glass is half full.’

Well, I try hard not to be a pessimist, and I guess if I can find amusement in what appears to be the cock-eyed optimism of economists, then I’m not really a full-blown pessimist after all. But seriously – who pays these people to tell us things are looking up based on trends that tend to swing back forth like a pendulum? Today prices are up, housing is up, jobs are up…based on data collected a month ago. Tomorrow prices are down, housing is down, jobs are down, based on data collected one day later.

Who do we believe? What do we believe? My take is to ignore the economists. Thing are better if they’re better. They’re worse if they’re worse.

Maybe the economy would recover if we stopped paying the economists to tell us about it.

1 comment:

  1. economists remind me of weathermen

    they get paid to make guesses based on sketchy data and they're wrong a lot.