|Man Without Qualities|
Thursday, July 31, 2003
Man Without Qualities [July 25, 2003]:
Herr Doktorprofessor [Paul Krugman, July 25, 2003] also thinks: There is very little evidence in the data for a strong recovery ready to break out. As far as I can make out, Mr. Greenspan's optimism is entirely based on models predicting that tax cuts and low interest rates will get the economy moving. But where [Krugman] has often cited recent employment statistics as evidence of economic health, here there is no mention that the number of people lodging new jobless claims plunged unexpectedly last week to the lowest level since February, which some economists think means a lot. Nor does [Krugman] explain why those economists are wrong.
The fact is that there is plenty of evidence in the data for a strong recovery ready to break out. But there is also plenty of evidence in the data for concern.
New York Times [July 31, 2003]:
In its first estimate of how the economy performed during the second quarter, the Commerce Department said that gross domestic product, which measures the total value of goods and services produced in the United States, rose at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the April-June period. That rise was well above the 1.5 percent rate of increase that most Wall Street economists had been forecasting.
While the output numbers came as a pleasant surprise, analysts were equally encouraged by a report from the Labor Department, which showed that initial claims for unemployment benefits fell for a second straight week in the period ended July 26.
Jobless claims dropped to 388,000 for the week, down from 391,000 the previous week. More significant, analysts said, is the longer-term trend: initial claims have been trending steadily lower for the last seven weeks.
Man Without Qualities [July 16, 2003]:
My difficulties with Herr Doktorprofessor stem largely from his reliance on (1) a constant stream of bad economics, including incomplete economics, (2) false, misleading and materially incomplete statements of fact and economic theory, (3) evasive language often intended to allow him to claim credit for predictions where none were made, and (4) a boring parroting of the then-current liberal Democratic line that he attempts to tart up as original commentary.
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