Friday, October 30, 2009


It's almost Spook Night, & what better time to re-enter the overgrown elfin horror of Megan McArdle's mind? The woman who can't spell her favorite word, even when spotted the "e," would like us to pay some attention to some stuff she's typed about something else.

When we were considering the stimulus, I got asked frequently whether it would work.  That very much depends on what you mean by "work".  If the question is:  "can I increase the size of a measured variable by boosting one of the components of that variable," then the answer is undoubtedly "yes"--but this is trivial.
Well, that depends on what the definition of "works" is, doesn't it? And maybe we aren't ready to deal w/ this. A clue for Mlle.: The question (she asked it herself) was "Will the stimulus work?" Not, "Ha ha, would you type something obvious & not funny even as sarcasm while avoiding the truth about the stimulus?"
We borrowed a bunch of money from abroad, and that was going to show up as an increase in GDP.  But as I wrote in our November issue, GDP is at best a proxy for our well-being, not a direct measure of it.  It's often a good proxy.  But it's never perfect, and it's very easy to manipulate with certain sorts of government actions, most notably borrowing a ton of money from the global capital markets.
I am on the edge of my seat awaiting the McArdle Index, so we can begin measuring our well-being w/o the irksome proxy of the GDP.*

Megan asks four questions, one of which is
2)  Are employment and compensation growing?
Funny, considering wages have been essentially stagnant since the Reagan era, & that, after all is good for Megan's America. Unless "compensation" is code for more bonuses for Wall St.

Elements of Style©:
How to type as if you graduated from a not really bad junior high school:
We borrowed a bunch of money from abroad
borrowing a ton of money from the global capital markets
Next wk., we'll find out that we've borrowed a bunch of tons of money.

Also fascinated by this sentence:
The things I think we really want to know about the economy are
The horror of the overgrown yet still elfin mind. Boo!

* One of the axes of the "McArdle Index."

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