Yesterday, we wrote:
Despite self-serving doomsday prognostications by President Obama, and a skewed unemployment chart produced by Nancy Pelosi and promoted by Andrew Sullivan, Alan Reynolds, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute, reminds us that “It’s A Recession Not A ‘Catastrophe‘”.
Ed Morrisey has much more on the remarkably incomplete graphics her servile art department generated, linking to first to an typical item from an otherwise Pelosi-backing Time magazine, which extends her chart out to 1980, and then to veteran econo-blogger William J. Polley, who extends Pelosi’s chart out to cover the post-WWII period.
When one looks at the past 60 years, we see that this recession’s unemployment only ranks it thus far as a mid-range recession. Even the rate of decline has been more moderate in this recession than in most of the others. It’s not cause for celebration or a prescription for inaction, but panic isn’t necessary, either. Instead, we should focus on what worked in previous recessions, rather than get stampeded into a “let’s try anything” approach that will almost certainly make matters worse.
The last damned lie is that these charts provide even a scintilla of evidence for the Pelosi Porkulus Bill. All they show is unemployment rates. The real lessons come in the policies followed in the recoveries, along with the lasting power of those policies. When we used government regulation of free markets in the 1970s as a response, the result was three significant recessions in seven years, along with massive inflation and soaring interest rates. When we relied on market-based economics, we have had only four significant recessions in the last 28 years, including the one that weaned us off of the disastrous policies of the 70s — to which Pelosi and Obama want to return.
And more than anything, the lesson to be learned here is that Nancy Pelosi has been deeply dishonest about this recession.
In October, Pelosi told voters, “Elect us, hold us accountable, and make a judgment and then go from there.”
So far, Nancy’s not passing the test very well.