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!