Initial Claims: Life in the Short Run
11:02 AM, Sep 20, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The initial claims number isn't the best indicator of employment and general job market health. It is imprecise and fleeting, like economists' concept of the "short run," which is how President Obama told David Letterman we need to think about deficits and debt. Not a problem in the "short run." And this is almost tautological. We don't have to worry about it until ... well, until we do. That would be in the "long run." And in the long run, "we are all dead," as Keynes helpfully explained. Or, in the case of President Obama, safely out of office.
One cannot help but admire how adroitly the Obama campaign has made present conditions seem normal and endurable. The government bleeds red ink, the debt accumulates massively, unemployment routinely and "unexpectedly" increases and ... the president goes on Letterman and tells him not to sweat it.
It's working, even as millions of Americans are not.