Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Working for David Bradley means never having to say you're sorry

I'm not quite sure where to begin, so let's just get to it.

Future shock:

Several liberal blogs are chortling over this statement I made early in the year:
Will the economy decline in 2008?

Paul Krugman is voting for doom. It's worth keeping in mind, however, that Paul Krugman has predicted eight of the last none recessions under the Bush administration.

I think it's obvious we're in a slowdown, and a recession seems likely-ish, but Britain's skirted recession for over a decade now, so I can't be too fatalistic.
This is obviously hilarious--if you have an incredibly shaky understanding of statistics, and also, no knowledge of decision science.
Y'know what'd be nice? Links. To see in greater detail how and why you're being criticized for this, Megan, and by whom. It'd also be nice to have a link to your original post, so we can know when you said it. Y'see, most of the country seemed to believe we were already in a recession when the crisis hit, but because them people were actually feeling the results of said recession they lacked the perspective necessary to make glib jokes about whether their pain was sufficient for the "r word".
Anyhow, I'm not going to jump on this particular bandwagon against Megan, because I think they're taking her to task for the wrong thing.
About a year ago Megan claimed there was no real subprime crisis. 85% of subprime loans weren't in default, then, so it was no big deal. Hell, she even argued against any changes in the credit system unless more than 50% of subprime loans went into default. (And even then we have to remember it's the fault of those receiving the loans, not the bankers giving them out.) She even claimed there there wasn't really a housing bubble.
But these posts are from long ago, Feb of this year at the earliest. Surely Megan has come to recognize her error since then.
Or not.
So, yeah. It's easy to point out the dishonesty of Megan's post from today as a non-response to her critics, or how she's, once again, criticizing others for getting something right which she was wrong about, but in a strange way she has a point. Megan has fucked up in much bigger ways than that quote reflects, and will proudly keep doing so.
Also, all those people who have been saying fault lines cause earthquakes are just lucky when those quakes finally happen. Pointing to a fault in the earth's crust and saying "this will inevitably cause problems" is too easy to give someone credit for.

Heh, a bit more;
Paul Krugman has argued that we might be going into recession multiple times since Bush came into office, often right before record growth. The tendency of people to forget the failed predictions is the reason that they hail various pundits as geniuses when some predictions pan out. It's not as if he predicted the current crisis; he just said the fundamentals didn't look so hot. But after eight years of growth, it's a good mathematical bet that the economy is going to go into recession, no special genius required.

Posted by Megan McArdle | October 15, 2008 11:50 AM
No special genius required to be right where Megan was wrong, nope. On this I actually agree.
But, um, Megan? You do realize you just called yourself an idiot?

1 comment:

SV said...


I am not sure if everyone thinks these past 8 years have been good to them. I am sure that some people did very well. There was a recession around 2002 and then the economy recovered. The term "jobless recovery" was bandied about. What the hell is that?

A year ago those squawk box yahoos were saying that we were going to have a soft landing. I never even knew we took off.

For Megan to say that Krugman was wrong all these years is to claim that there was a time when normal people were doing very well when Krugman said otherwise. Is that really true?