5 thoughts on “September Open Thread

    • I guess the question is why the main stream media serves up a steady diet of “the country is moving to the right?”
      Still, I am not sure that all these measures are really good measures of attitudes. Yes, the attitudes about gay marriage and legalization of marijuana are good measures. But I am not so sure about the wage gap and spending on social programs are not good measures of social attitudes, at least not in my opinion. The spending on the safety net is particular problematic, especially when anyone begins “not counting” certain spending in order to make the percentage go up (or down, for that matter). And the spending for many of these is not really an active vote by those in Congress–these are entitlements and unless they go in and make changes to the actual legislation, the costs are will increase. For example, take food stamps and medicaid–more people are now qualifying for those programs because of the economic downtown, so the government will spend more on those safety net programs in 2010 than it did in 2007. I don’t think that is measure of us being “more progressive.”
      But yes, it is important counter this disconnect between what we the people actually believe and will support in terms of public policies from what the spin of the media and the chattering class.

  1. The Recession ended in June 2009 according to a report:

    CAMBRIDGE September 20, 2010 – The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met yesterday by conference call. At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months.

    In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month. A recession is a period of falling economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. The trough marks the end of the declining phase and the start of the rising phase of the business cycle. Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.

    Find at: http://www.nber.org/cycles/sept2010.html

    As with any research, you have to figure exactly how they measure a recession and then decide whether those measures are credible measures. The concept is Construct validity. Are the measures used actually measuring a recession in a way that can tell when a recession starts and stops?
    Curiously, the end of a recession does not mean that the economy is working.
    I will wait and see what other economists have to say before breaking out the champagne.

  2. Paul Krugman:
    End of the Recession

    Q.Can you explain why it’s meaningful to say that the “recession is over in a technical” sense, when every meaningful number is looking bleak? — AwK

    A.OK: the official definition of a recession in the United States is that it’s a recession if the recession-dating committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research says it is. But the committee, loosely speaking, says that a recession is a period when everything is going down. And that’s not true anymore. Industrial production is rising; GDP is almost certainly rising. So the economy has stopped shrinking.

    Now, I agree that this doesn’t say much about the reality most Americans face – because the jobs picture is still getting worse. But it’s fairly clear that the official records will eventually say that the recession ended in the summer of 2009.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *