Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nominations for 2009 Economic Prediction o' the Year

The nominations for the economic prediction of 2009 are in. But, first, a bit of background:

Friday’s unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics is anything but a green shoot. The official U-3 unemployment number is 10.2%. The broader and more comprehensive official unemployment number, the U-6, is at 17.5%. The U-6 counts all the people that want a job but gave up, all the people with part-time jobs that want a full-time job, and all the people who dropped off unemployment benefits because their unemployment benefits ran out. John Williams at suggests that real unemployment is actually running at 22%, which, by our calculation, is approaching Great Depression unemployment numbers... The unemployment report may come as a surprise to those who have been following the Obama administration and mainstream economists like Paul Krugman.

Just an interesting anecdote: Krugman's nickname is Marxie the Mouthpiece (and I hear that's the appellation he prefers). So, without further ado, the nominees are:

Barack Obama, describing the effects of the Stimulus (2/13/09): "That’s a story I’m confident will be repeated at companies across the country — companies that are currently struggling to borrow money selling their products, struggling to make payroll, but could find themselves in a different position when we start implementing the plan... Rather than downsizing, they may be able to start growing again. Rather than cutting jobs, they may be able to create them again."

David Axelrod, predicting unemployment rates (2/15/09): "There’s no doubt that without it [the stimulus], that’s where we were looking: double-digit unemployment. That’s what we’re trying to forestall."

Paul Krugman, the second dumbest Nobel winner in history after Al Gore (1/21/09): "I'm looking for the unemployment rate. I want to see the unemployment rate stay safely below 10 percent, which is by no means a foregone conclusion. And I want to see it coming down notably next year."

Ben Bernanke, predicting unemployment (5/5/09): "Currently, we don’t think it will get to 10 percent. Our current number is somewhere in the 9s."

If the results of their failed experiments weren't so devastating, I'd be tempted to laugh. As it is, most of us feel like weeping.

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