Cryin’ the blues

Here are a few reasons why I think the economy is about to recover. And there is a good chance you will scoff at them. Or laugh at them.

First reason is because of what most of our experts are telling us. Our pundits. Our economic commentators. Various big time economists.

Most of them are telling us the economy is headed for Niagara Falls. And not from the bottom of it, either, like the Maiden of the Mist. More from the top of it, like the idiot in the barrel. Yes, they are swabbing grey paint all over the economy.

To me that is good news. Because they have pretty grim track records. Like the adage, they have predicted twenty of the last two downturns.

Now you may think I am silly. For figuring the economy is probably headed up because the experts reckon it is going down. I am simply going with the odds.

Too many of those experts are lazy. They take the easy route. They look at trend lines and extend them. Anybody can do that. Good thing they are not weather guys. Temperatures fell three degrees last week. And three degrees the week before. By July we will hit zero for sure.



Also, too many of them let their politics color their thinking. Any time there’s a Republican at the helm the ship is goin’ down.

Now the second reason why I figure the economy is probably on the mend. Are you ready to curl your nose and dip into your snicker locker? (And I don’t mean the candy bar.)

I figure things are going to get better because President Bush said so. He did, last week.

When you finish your noises and facial contortions I ask you to recall something. He has been on the money with most of his predictions about the economy. And about election results.

When the stock market swooned over the dot coms, the pundits measured up a coffin for the economy. President Bush said our economy was strong enough to withstand it and bounce back. He was right.

When the mini-recession struck, the pundits wrote off the economy. They did so again after 9/11. He urged us to keep the faith. The economy will rebound, he predicted. He was right.

When Enron and other companies collapsed, the pundits again were back in the grey paint business. The President told us better days were dead ahead. He was right.

The pundits predicted his tax cuts would light a fire under the economy. The fire of a funeral pyre.. He said they would invigorate the economy. He was right. The tax cuts provided enough money to let him and Congress kick spending into high gear. Unfortunately.

Now he is predicting the economy will not go into recession. Or if it does, it will be a mild one.

If he is right again, I will not give him too much credit. He is not a guru. He does seem to have pretty good instincts when it comes to the economy. He also has some good advisors. I do not think they would let him jump off this diving board unless there was water in the pool.

In other words, they must have told him he would probably be safe with another of those optimistic predictions of his. And they look at a lot more data on the economy than any of us do.

And all the pundits? I would not take them to the race track, no. Unless I took along an extra shirt. I would not take them to the casino. Unless I left most of my money in the room safe. I would not take them to a funny movie. They would probably cry through it. I would not take them to a funeral. They would feel too much at home.

I like them right where they are. Cryin’ the blues over the future of our economy. That cryin’ is a dirge to their ears but music to mine. It is only a faint sound right now. But I can almost hear George Bush hummin’ “Happy Days Are Here Again”.

We’ll see. Just like we always do.

From Tom ... as in Morgan.

For more columns and for Tom’s radio shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.

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