Monday, January 5, 2009

Unemployment Poll

Just back from a quick trip to San Francisco (where it was delightfully sunny), the poor unsuspecting city that was just invaded by a plague of Economists [which I shall now coin as the official collective noun for economists - inspired by Louise Erdrich's "Plague of Doves"].

The fact that the new term starts today probably means slow blogging for this week, but I will try and get to part two of my little education series which will look at the wisdom of investments in higher ed.

However, there is one self-referential news item, which is the official poll results from my little on-line unemployment poll. And the news is that for the self-selected group of readers of this blog that bothered to vote, pessimism rules the day. A whopping 40% of you selected 12% and I suspect that there is some censoring going on - meaning that some of these voters would have gone higher if the choices were available. Wow. I thought 12% was a real extreme, and should we hit that, I will be breathing into a paper bag. I fear that we will indeed reach the 10% range in unemployment in Oregon (which was my vote), and hopefully we won't stay there too long. But then I was wrong about what the depth of the current crisis would be 6 months ago, so perhaps I still don't get it. There are some votes for 7% (which we had not reached when I fired up the poll), so some optimists were there at least in the beginning.

Though self-selected, it seems to reflect the overall pessimism of the populace these days and that is a problem. The Consumer Confidence Index is at a new low and without getting consumers a little more optimistic, it is hard to get businesses optimistic and banks optimistic about businesses, etc.

I hope congress can get its act together soon and get a stimulus bill for Obama to sign immediately, for I fear that without massive federal stimulus, the global economy is headed off a cliff.

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

Gregory said...

Historians are starting to say that GWB is the worst President ever, or not far behind Buchanan and Harding. Is it premature for historians to make this judgment? What if (by some miracle) 20 years from now Iraq would lead the middle east to a peaceful transition to democracy and truce with Israel? Would that vindicate his legacy somehow?

Anyway, GWB's inability to do anything to turn back the economic tide will probably not fare well for his legacy either.