Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Monday, January 21, 2008 :::

I've commented to my brother recently that there's a human tendency, on seeing two points, to draw a line through them; one point, if you're Michael Moore or a conspiracy theorist. (Perhaps I repeat myself.) Anyway, I'm seeing my second variant on the following, and would care to nail it to the counter:
But the main result of all this chatter is that far too many myths about recessions have made their way into popular culture.

1. We're already in a recession.

The truth is, nobody knows.
A few months ago I saw a discussion in, I believe, a blog's comments section, of Google's price to sales ratio, or some such metric. The post or article or whatever it was had taken someone to task for giving a lower number than he got himself by calculating from the previous year's financial statements, and in the comments it was noted that, with Google's recent growth, the number given was probably about right for current data. The original author responded to the effect that these estimated numbers were "made up", and he was using "real numbers".

Practically all comments about the future are speculative; at best, they're reasoned judgments. Many comments about the present are similarly speculative. If you want to say "I disagree" and make an opposing case, that seems all good and proper; even if it requires saying "I think Google has experienced zero growth since the last report" (or "I think the original data said something that implied it meant a trailing sales number"), you're at least putting forth your premises, even if they're daft. Calling different guesses — say, that we're in a recession — a myth seems excessive. This particular writer makes a good argument that we probably weren't in a recession as of November, and does a good job of making clear exactly that it's hard to say whether the economy is in recession now, but very much fails to make the case that it's a "myth".

::: posted by dWj at 2:49 PM

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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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