It's Monday and Robert Samuelson Has Something Silly to Say in the Post

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Monday, 23 May 2011 05:09

Today the good news is that the economy is growing. Let's get out the champagne!

Of course the economy almost always grows. The question that serious people ask is how fast is the economy growing. The answer is that over the last year the economy has grown by 2.4 percent. This is a hair shy of the 2.5 percent growth rate that the economy needs just to keep even with the growth of the labor force. The drop in the unemployment rate that we have seen from its 10.2 percent high point has been entirely due to people dropping out of the labor force, the employment to population ratio has not risen at all since November of 2009.

It is also worth noting Samuelson's choice of experts to promote the good news line about the economy. In reference to the housing market he quotes Ben Herzon of Macroeconomic Advisers saying, “There’s a boom out there somewhere, ...  it’s just a matter of when.” It's worth noting that Macroeconomic Advisers was completely dismissive of the idea that there was a housing bubble prior to its collapse beginning in 2006.

The article also cites Mark Zandi's statement that he is optimistic about the economy's prospects for 2012. It is worth noting that the downturn caught Zandi completely by surprise. He has also been consistently overly optimistic about the strength of the recovery.