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Notes to myself, possibly of interest to others.
-- Bill Northlich

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fun with Uncertainty

Well...  If you had been reading Vitus' musings these last several years, you would be inured against the fundamentally humorous "uncertainty" meme which the radical right trots out whenever in danger of loosing the economic argument (all the time?).  Still, nice to occasionally see others notice the gorilla in the room.
Carolyn Baum, Bloomberg (HT Mark Thoma):  ...brings me to the subject of uncertainty, the presumed source of all things ailing the U.S. economy. Uncertainty is omnipresent. No one speaks of uncertainty during good times. There was lots of uncertainty in March 2000, when the Nasdaq Composite Index breached 5,000 as investors bought shares of Internet companies with no revenue, no profits and, in at least one case, no known business. No uncertainty back then; just a case of irrational exuberance.
In good times, the word uncertainty rarely appears in policy discussions. In bad times, it’s the default setting. Why not call it by what it really is, which is pessimism? When businesses say they aren’t going to invest because of uncertainty, what they mean is, they don’t think their investments will produce a substantial profit. (Vitus bold)
Update:  And, kiddies, why won't investments produce profits?  Uh... no customers?  See "uncertainty meme" above.
Update2:  Marco Rubio, 2/13, in the Repub's response to the SOTU: "[T]he uncertainty created by the debt is one reason why many businesses aren’t hiring.” (link).  Raaht-on Bubba.

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