Friday, November 27, 2020

All Out Of Ideas

The Great Recession lasted a long time, but what didn't last very long was any interest in trying to fix it. I'm not interested in assigning blame at the moment or rehashing the whole saga, but collectively they did their thing, said all we can do, time to move on. Part of this was a basic belief that a sub-6% unemployment rate was actually pretty good (though it took until summer of 2014 to get even there).

Trump obviously didn't work some magic with his perfect, beautiful policies, but if you wonder why anyone might actually credit him with a good pre-covid economy, it's because the economy was actually at a genuinely low level of unemployment, the kind of unemployment rate plausibly associated with "full unemployment," something rarely experienced in the country since economists declared war on inflation and decided to never let the unemployment rate drop that low ever again.

4.7% unemployment rate in November, 2016, 3.5% in February, 2020. The difference between "I can find a job" and "I can find a job and get a raise."