Wait, the Fed's job is to unsustainably goose flaky economic numbers in an election year? Then why do we even have a Fed?
@ Daniel:Funny, I was looking at exactly this point while going over some review for my logic course. The textbook had some fun examples, like a fictional fundraising organization claiming an 80% success rate, or effectiveness, because they raised $1 million of a $5 million target (moving from $15M to $16M instead of to $20M). The textbook also kindly pointed out that the university president hiring the fundraisers might have made the $1M without ever hiring the goons.There is a similar story (not verified) listed in the textbook about Josef Stalin claiming a five-year plan for steel production was 57% effective when steel production went from some 5M tons to 6M, instead of a targeted 10M (roughly speaking). Attribution of that one was kind of flaky, though.Silas Barta:You might have forgotten, but here is the offending quote from Rick Perry:"If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y'all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous – or treasonous in my opinion."We can have a polite disagreement about whether printing money is "unsustainably goosing flaky economic numbers" but Perry took it far beyond a simple factual disagreement.I will cut somebody slack for believing that perhaps some Fed officials are more on the side of the markets than the average person in "goosing" the numbers, but I think even that's actually an untenable belief. If we are honest with ourselves, we recognize that stimulus is the way to go, and Rick Perry is another firm believer of pro-austerity nonsense, which is even less likely to help get us out of this mess than the weakened and somewhat off-target Democratic proposals we rarely hear these days.
Nothing's worse than someone who doesn't understand numbers and their meanings...
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Daniel Kuehn is a doctoral candidate and adjunct professor in the Economics Department at American University. He has a master's degree in public policy from George Washington University.