#1 Quit Doling Out That Bad-Economy Line09-18-2008, 06:36 PM
By Donald Luskin
Sunday, September 14, 2008; B01
"It was the worst of times, and it was the worst of times."
I imagine that's what Charles Dickens would conclude about the current condition of the U.S. economy, based on the relentless drumbeat of pessimism in the media and on the campaign trail. In the past two months, this newspaper alone has written no fewer than nine times, in news stories, columns and op-eds, that key elements of the economy are the worst they've been "since the Great Depression." That diagnosis has been applied twice to the housing "slump" and once to the housing "crisis," to the "severe" decline in home prices, to the "spike" in mortgage foreclosures, to the "change" in the mortgage market and the "turmoil" in debt markets, and to the "crisis" or "meltdown" in financial markets.
It's a virus -- and it's spreading. Do a Google News search for "since the Great Depression," and you come up with more than 4,500 examples of the phrase's use in just the past month.
But that doesn't make any of it true. Things today just aren't that bad. Sure, there are trouble spots in the economy, as the government takeover of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and jitters about Wall Street firm Lehman Brothers, amply demonstrate. And unemployment figures are up a bit, too. None of this, however, is cause for depression -- or exaggerated Depression comparisons.
09-18-2008, 07:26 PM
Actually Luskin is correct. What we are witnessing is a self fulfilling prophesy.I long for the days when our President actually liked our country.
09-18-2008, 07:35 PM
09-18-2008, 08:15 PM
That is not what we are saying. There ARE issues but they have been made DRASTICALLY worse by the constant drumbeat of pessimism.
The fact of the matter is that economics is VERY much a psychological issue. It is driven by people who's decisions are based on the information they are given.
If they are constantly fed bad news, they tend to act in a manner that works to contract the economy.I long for the days when our President actually liked our country.
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