Friday, December 5, 2008

533,000 Jobs Gone in One Month

Two million jobs lost so far in 2008.

Biggest job losses in over 30 years.

Some will say that 10% unemployment is the "defining point" of depression.
"Today's employment report begs the question of whether the meltdown we're experiencing should be called a Depression."
— Robert Reich, former secretary of labor, professor at Berkeley
"The threat of a widespread depression is now real and present."
— Peter Morici, professor, University of Maryland
The real unemployment rate is certainly over 10% now. (The real unemployment rate is significantly higher than the official rate, now at 6.7%, because the government cooks the numbers.)

Finally, it begins to sink into the glitterati of Wall Street. The masters of Congress. The pundits, the academics. It's bad. We the People, who have to live with Their Decisions — the decisions of The Immune, The Exempt — already knew this.

We must ask what kind of "science" economics is if so many "economists" predicted the opposite of what we are now seeing, or at least got it drastically wrong. Is economics a science in the way Physics was in, say, 1700? Or is economics just no science at all?

If We the People are ill-equipped to do economics ourselves (though we can now reasonably ask whether we are just as well equipped as the so-called economists), we are perfectly equipped to judge the public assertions of economists. They have, with the exception of a small, progressive or liberal minority, been dead wrong.

So is economics just so poisoned by the self-serving interests of economists that it cannot realize its scientific potential? Or is it simply not a science? (And that raises the question of what makes Physics or Biology a science but not economics.)

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