Bruce Bartlett’s Optimism

Bartlett annoys me. I’m not sure why he annoys me so much. Perhaps it’s the political hack in him that I find offensive. Perhaps the pomposity? Perhaps the fact that he insults the suffering of the common man? Perhaps both.

In this posting he states:

I’m rather astounded at all the ill-informed commentary I have read today in normally responsible places such as the Financial Times to the effect that the National Bureau of Economic Research is not sure that the recession is over. That is not at all the case. I am 100% certain that every member of the Business Cycle Dating Committee knows perfectly well that the recession ended some time ago. What the committee is unsure about is precisely when the recession ended.

Of course, according to the definition, it simply means that we are no longer falling. However, imbalances remain, and on a global scale. And unemployment will persist for a long time.

In general, the period of contraction only constitutes one third to one quarter of the time span needed for recovery of employment. Unemployment will persist for four or more years. And global contractions are still possible in for multiple reasons in multiple areas.

So early claims of recovery are cheerful only for speculative investors and political hacks.

The common people have no reason to celebrate.

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