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Adam Davidson Strikes Again, Tells Us to Ignore Downer Data and Trust the Confidence Fairy

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While Adam Davidson’s current New York Times column, “How to Make Jobs Disappear” refrains from blatant advocacy of the interests of the 1%, his “Let Dr. Pangloss explain it” approach to economic news is still flattering to the established order. To the extent that anyone in the officialdom pays attention to his work, he’s holding up a rosy-colored mirror to their stewardship. And for the rest of us, his relentless “see, everything really is fine, now take your Soma” denies the reality of the hardships and stresses most ordinary Americans face.

It’s hitting the point where I’m getting such sharp, annoyed commentary about Davidson’s columns by e-mail that I have to work to read his columns with a fresh eye. From one correspondent:

Can we make Adam Davidson disappear? He seems to have carved out a special niche: Stupid-nomics. WTF is his point here? That Adam Davidson is an oh-so-reasonable-guy-who-just-wants-the-silly-competing-economic-theories-to-get-along so we can all feel good? That jobs would magically appear if we would just stop paying attention to them?

His articles seem to be an experiment how somebody with either innate or willful ignorance of macroeconomics — but a superficial curiosity coupled with a desire to preserve his paycheck –would view economic questions. His assumptions –i.e. if Greece could just pay off those debts and sell some good stuff all would be well — are so wildly simplistic and wrong-headed that it’s hard to go on to the next sentence, because you know you’re heading down a path led by somebody who is blind. And you smack your head against the wall. Where is the aspirin?

If you haven’t encountered Davidson’s latest offering, he starts with the claim that the monthly nonfarm payrolls release has become a key (his breathlessness implies THE) indicator of economic performance, and is now driving hiring decisions. Davidson tells us this is terrible because actually knowing roughly how many jobs are being added when the results aren’t great frightens employers into not adding them and consumers into not spending.

Based on this sort of thing, it looks as if Davidson lives in some sort of weird alternative reality of as he styles himself, “econonerds” which I imagine consists of heavily of economics-oriented journalists and analysts. This crowd is in the business of having to be out, quickly, with a take on new information. But just because their business is to attribute meaning to various data releases doesn’t mean they have this sort of news has same impact in the wider world as it does in the media hothouse or with quick-trigger investors.

First, nonfarm payrolls aren’t a “one number to rule them all” release. They are prefigured by ADP employment report, published just prior to the Friday BLS report. Normally they tell more or less the same story. But the ADP reported less awful job creation for May (133,000 v. 69,000 for the NFP). And more worrisome, the report indicted the average number of hours worked fell a smidge. And there are other reports that give fairly current economic readings, such as retail sales. And for prospective indicators, there are releases like the Factory Orders Report and the forward looking sub-indices (such as new orders) in the various manufacturing indices. Thus, contra Davidson, the stock market (which is treated much more as a one-stop indicator of America’s financial prospects by the media than the monthly jobs release) rose since the last downer NFP, and cracked last week, ostensibly on other data showing that the economy wasn’t looking all that healthy.

The next leg of Davidson’s argument is even nuttier. Businesses aren’t hiring and consumers are being scared from spending as much by the big bad NPF release! That old NPF release is SOOO unreliable anyhow, wouldn’t it be better if we just ignored it and went out and shopped, and left this all to technocrats who’d be cool headed enough to look at longer term trends?

Reading this, one has to wonder if Davidson knows anyone in the real economy. Small business has long been the engine of job growth in the US. Large companies were shedding jobs even in the last expansion. It’s difficult to imagine that much of any small businesses caring about the monthly jobless numbers. They look at their drivers of revenues, which are always more specific. There are businesses that lead the economy, lag the economy, and are countercyclical (tailors being the classic example). Most see their demand track influenced by local/regional or industry-specific factors. And the same is true of most people. Either they feel somewhat insulated from the vagaries of the economy (they have a decent job security with a pretty solid employer, or operate a recession-resistant business, like a mortician, or are part of the 1%) or they are in a more precarious position (self employed, owner of a small business working for a small firm where their job or hours depend on how well the business does, or un or underemployed).Those who are less secure similarly have their willingness to spend influenced by personal considerations (level of cash and savings buffers, level of current and prospective earnings), not the latest Big Data Release.

Davidson is also saying, to the extent a business is in a field where national job gains are germane, that we should ignore information and cheerlead. He also implies that the reactions to adverse data releases are at least as pronounced as to good ones. That’s hogwash. First, psychologists have documented a bias in most people towards optimism, and that is very much enforced in the US (notice how many business and self help books stress the importance of being gung ho, and how “negativity” is an even worse pejorative than “liberal”?). Second, we have entire industries dedicated to cheerleading: equity fund managers and analysts (who are ex hedgies are structurally long and therefore need to be bullish most of the time), the PR industry, and increasingly, the Obama administration, which seems to believe the answer to every problem is better propaganda. Third, there actually might be real performance problems beyond the ability of the confidence fairly to solve. Davidson dismisses that with his “we’re not Greece” discussion. But this ignores the lasting impact of a global economic crisis and the continuing impact of private sector deleveraging, made worse by the bad policy decision to zombify the financial sector rather than restructure the bad debts and use aggressive fiscal stimulus to offset the resulting downdraft. That means ex a change in course is the best we are likely to get is a halting recovery.

Davidson does deviate from channeling Dr. Pangloss to imagine an even better world, one in which the lion and the lamb, or in this case, Keynes and Hayek, would settle their differences and make sense of all that noisy data. We’ll just leave aside that Hayek would be rolling in his grave to have the fact that he and Keynes had friendly discussions taken to mean he’d happily participate in a world where “major economic decisions” were made by “non-partisan technocrats”. Reader Mrs. G took on the “non-partisan” part of this history-mangling fantasy:

Hayek as a nonpartisan technocrat immune from a “breathless” media cycle?? How ignorant can this guy be about Hayek and partisanship? He really needs to Google “Hayek” and get a clue. Or maybe he’s paid not to.

I must confess I have a vested interest in debunking Davidson. Given his interest in changing mass psychology, I imagine I’d be included in reprogramming efforts to make sure there is plenty of happy thinking so we all get the prosperity we deserve if we do our duty and spend enough. And you might be too.

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60 comments

  1. Middle Seaman

    What’s the point picking on Davidson, after all there are thousands of him spread all over this country and the EU. We have two Davidsons running for president.

    1. jake chase

      Agreed. I continue to marvel that some people still expect intelligent analysis from the NYT. I think that stopped with the Pentagon Papers. Can’t imagine how anyone got those published.

      The Sunday Times can be useful so long as you don’t read it. The best place to pick one up is at the curb (any curb) on Sunday evening. Haven’t figured out what to do with the magazines though.

      1. Machen Vapid

        Indeed! To suggest that Adumb Davidson is just another meme-repeating media whore is to forget that he holds very prominent positions at both NPR (Planet Money), the NYT (newspaper and magazine), and at ProPublica (partnership with NPR). He is part of the the so-called elite, “liberal” media establishment. His reach is greater than most, which affords him a particular regard among conventional, cloiserterd, DC and NYC (conventional) thinkers. As a modern courtier, Davidson hamonizes scholastic orthodoxy with subtle sophistry, which is what makes him (and intelligensia like him) particularly dangerous.

    2. lambert strether

      Davidson needs to be picked on so that when your good NPR-listening friend, who may not be paying as close attention as you do, mentions him with approbation, you’ve got something to say.

      Meme propagation involves tireless repetition.

    3. Synopticist

      He should be outed and criticised all more, because he’s a tame, liberal sounding “nice” hard economic rightist.
      He reliably regurgitates Wall Street bullshit for the otherwise well informed metroploitan miiddle classes.

      The super-rich love him, because he looks and sounds so very reasonable and progressive, while sweetly pumping out pro-1% propoganda.

  2. Francois T

    C’wan Yves!

    What did you expect?

    This is America, the Land of Econstoopid, where a media universe needs its periodic fix of BenSteinery (Adam Davidson being being the syringe full of the dope) or it would collapse, gasping under the plight of an acute withdrawal syndrome.

  3. bulfinch

    Good stuff. And yes, negativity — any gradient of which, be it anger, disappointment or bitterness — has become the formica countertop of the emotional spectrum. Certainly, anyone born with a preternatural olfactory sense for the smell of BS is probably going to be a little negative; the trick is to mix it with humor to keep your soul alive. Personally, I don’t fully trust any person over the age of 25 (the age at which the brain has finished fully forming) who hasn’t gotten started on a decent scowl line in their brow.

    As for the glad games/perpetual retail therapy approach to fixing all what ails — the message seems to be that we the people are little more than leavening agents, here to keep the lead balloon aloft as long as possible until the next great thing or distraction is stumbled upon. The good news is that I don’t think most Americans are that into the idea.

    1. groo

      bulfinch,
      good one.

      wrt…scowl line…

      Necessary but not sufficient, it seems.
      See:
      http://andybraner.typepad.com/the_journey/2009/06/ever-think-god-is-just-out-to-get-you.html

      Even Obama has a pretty decent one. How come?

      This guy
      http://vitalministries.org/my_devotions/?p=5983
      seems to be on track, but society is hardworking to eliminate this attitude.

      Action items:
      #1: Forgive the Perpetrator.
      #2: You have to choose to Love the Perpetrator.
      #3: You must find a way to genuinely Pray for the Perpetrator.

      Know that people can’t see Jesus through the face of bitterness.

      haha.

      1. F. Beard

        I know for a fact that God has been out to get me – to change my ways. May He never quit so long as it’s needed!

        Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts. Proverbs 21:2.

  4. F. Beard

    If mere lack of confidence is the problem, then the obvious solution is confidence drugs. And they do exist. MAOIs like Nardil worked fabulously well with me. In fact, they made me TOO confident.

    But the real problem is that the lack of confidence in the economy is rooted in reality. People have been driven into crippling debt by the usury for counterfeit money cartel, the banking system. Fix that, preclude the problem from occurring again and real, sane, confidence should return.

    1. pebird

      You know, we read in all the blogs about how banks don’t have any credit-worthy customers for whom to lend. But that wasn’t a problem pre-2008.

      Davidson should ask the banks about confidence, but that is probably a little to close to home.

      1. F. Beard

        I guess the banks were confident they could unload the loans on hapless investors. Or that cheap Chinese goods would keep the music playing – that this time was different.

  5. Greg R

    And on the third day, the One Percent Whisperers assembled, a sortition was held, and Adam Davidson was assigned the Sunday NYT.

  6. Gareth

    I don’t know about anyone else but I always check the nonfarm payrolls numbers rather than my bank balance before making a major purchase. Doesn’t everyone?

    1. MS G

      Yes, absolutely. I check it before brushing my teeth in the morning to decide whether to skip toothpaste in order to save it for an imminent rainy day, too.

      :)

  7. Moneta

    Ministry of [Un]Truth
    By Eric Sprott & David Baker

    Speaking at a Brussels conference back in April 2011, Eurogroup President Jean Claude Juncker notably stated during a panel discussion that “when it becomes serious, you have to lie.”

    Back in April, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon blithely dismissed media reports as a “tempest in a teapot” that referred to massively outsized derivative positions held by the bank’s traders in the Chief Investment Office in London. That “tempest” was soon revealed to have resulted in a $2 billion trading loss for the bank roughly four weeks later. In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee this past week, Dimon explained that “This particular synthetic credit portfolio was intended to earn a lot of revenue if there was a crisis.
    ===========
    These 2 paragraphs sum it up.

    When lying becomes a prevalent or even e pre-requisite, and when you have the biggest banks allowed to make bets against America, how can one expect anything to get better?

    Never in history have we seen so much money printed and distributed so fast… a situation ripe for corruption.

    The next downleg will be nasty.

  8. PaulArt

    Good job Yves and thanks for this take down of Davidson. We need to keep doing this to let the MSM know, especially papers like NYT, know that someone is keeping an eye on them. The 1% need to know that we know what is going on. I would hazard a guess and say that this blog probably gets regular visits from sociopath 1%-ers who want to know what we know.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      PaulArt, so right. And I’ll bet the pols are reading NC for pointers on which way to go as a “candidate” trying to not get creamed.

  9. JTFaraday

    “It’s hitting the point where I’m getting such sharp, annoyed commentary about Davidson’s columns by e-mail that I have to work to read his columns with a fresh eye. From one correspondent:

    Can we make Adam Davidson disappear? He seems to have carved out a special niche: Stupid-nomics. WTF is his point here? …(further content-free vituperative fuming cut)… And you smack your head against the wall. Where is the aspirin?”

    Yeah, where is the aspirin? I have a pointless migraine already and I haven’t even gotten to Davidson yet.

  10. Dave of Maryland

    Here in Maryland the local Democrats are redistricting and the Republicans will likely lose a seat as a result.

    Result: The R’s are on the warpath. At the post office last week, three or four stood outside, pestering postal customers.

    Such as me. I’m there four or five days a week. I ignored them going in, and as I’m only in the building for two minutes, I didn’t think I would be bothered going out.

    But I was. I ignored them but a guy ran after me all the way to my car. I turned around and yelled at him.

    Turns out, they had the local Congressional Rep in tow. Nondescript guy in a purple shirt. No name tag. No suit. I berated them for hiding a member of Congress.

    I saw them again the next three days. Congressman still there, still in nondescript clothing, still looking for signatures for their petition to stop the redistricting.

    Note the conclusions: Jobs are not important. The economy is not important. Money is not important. Mortgages are not important [_______] (fill in the blank) is not important.

    Republican seats are important, and petitions are the way to get us all fired up. As if they had not seen the fate of all the petitions they’ve been handed over the years, including at least one from Naked Capitalism itself. I also got the same petition in the mail.

    And that they’re desperately afraid of meeting up with the voters. Fearful we’ll scream at them. Can’t say I blame them. Not only are they derelict in their duty to govern, but they were magically able to ignore intense, nationwide protest last fall and winter. (Anybody remember the Occupy Movement? Anybody?) Which was brutally suppressed in every city in the country.

    Washington is not only out of touch.

    They’re terrified. And at least 95% of them are going to be RE-ELECTED.

  11. muppeteer

    Davidson is the salt of the earth. The whimisical theories he pulls from his ass are an important source of exploitable market inefficiencies. He is the Greater Fool. Each time the actual world pulverizes his little columnist’s portfolio and his little shit newspaper retirement plan, I profit by his impoverishment and befuddled dismay. Long may he live to piss away his sinecure to me. I will spend it on hookers and blow and send him the snapshots.

  12. Ep3

    Yves, I would like to discuss a bit on this subject of the continuing ability of the American ppl to spend.
    First, the American consumer is tapped out. Overall, with negative equity and negative savings, more is spent than taken in. Not only is there the separation based on income, but also based upon age. I believe the baby boomers represent one group while gen X, Y, etc are another. Tremendous wealth was saved and accumulated with the parents of boomers and boomers themselves. And now the time has come for the 1% to reclaim that wealth. So what is happening is boomers are being encouraged to spend all that excess while gen Xers are being encouraged to go into debt today because “things will only get better” and the belief that no way could life could be worse than the previous generation. Let me state that with the death of the boomers, the inheritance will be the largest transfer of wealth in history. So the elites are setting things up to recapture that wealth. Gen Xers depending upon that inheritance to pay down debts and pay for new spending. But, if the propaganda can encourage boomers to spend now, then gen Xers will be doubly screwed when that inheritance disappears before they get it. And it will be easier to maintain wage slaves amongst gen Xers if all hope from being debt free is never realized.

    1. Moneta

      The boomers due to their age are not going to consume like they did over the last 2 decades and Gen-X and Gen-Y are broke… never mind the fact that in their 30-40s, the latter will have not even been able to benefit from the impact of compound interest.

    2. Moneta

      Let me state that with the death of the boomers, the inheritance will be the largest transfer of wealth in history
      ———-
      There will be little wealth transfer.

      2/3 of boomers have less than 100K saved up and will use it up in their last years. All that boomer wealth is incredibly concentrated…

  13. steve from virginia

    Hmmm …

    Step #1: Stop reading the NY Times. Problem solved.

    Times = climate change-peak oil denial, car- and luxury ‘loft’ ads. Who cares any more?

    Read the Washington Post, head straight for the Sports section: the Nationals are having a great year (a better year than the establishment).

    The ‘economics of stupid’ is world-wide. Too much has been invested in the status-quo, all of it is stranded. Without a large sea-change in management approach our economic infrastructure is a house-afire, with nothing to be done but let it burn itself out (and hope for the best).

  14. bmeisen

    re happy thinking

    A secure, minimum income for every American is possible without having to substantially cut defense spending. It’s easy to calculate: just take the cost for a family of 4 of eating out at McDonalds 7-10 times a week. Per year that’s $8000 times 300 million Americans or about $240 billion. This figure would include Happy Meals and doesn’t reflect the very likely very high number of Americans who would decline participation in the basic income program. The real question is, Do we need more?

  15. mac

    Seems to me that we must have a “news” media with “news” not opinion. Opinion pieces have their place but should be clearly identified as opinion not made to seem as fact.
    News is in fact information to be evaluated by the reader.

  16. Capo Regime

    In my view and experience there is a peculiar and to a large extent american cultural trait of positive thinking. We have a constant feed of how you need to have a postive attitude, how if you are in the now wonderful things will happen, if you wait and have a creative attitude you can create an app to capture part of that 50 trillion economy! As a former development economist will tell ya tht these clowns need to be dropped in say Bolivia or Chad with 100 dollars and change of clothes and lets see if their vision and attitude gets them through a day. The sophists who staff the trade associations and media are also of the positive thinkng mind cure. There are grown adults out there, writing books and speaking at conferences and saying that it will all be great and then go to how american genious and innovation will save us, things are not that bad and in fact these times of crisis are really opportunity disguised you have to frame differently! Who knows maybe if I was on antidepresants, lived on my smart phone and believed the New York Times an the Whitehouse I would also live in that parrallel unvirse. Where I live, I am grumpy and kind of negative and most people I know are in bad shape and their prospects are bleak–and I live in the D.C. area. Imagine what the folks in Miami and St. Louis lives must really be like–hey but just wait the new app and the genious that got us facebook and salesforce will produce more marvels…..

  17. Capo Regime

    On last one I promise…How many of you have heard of people stalling in their career or being fired for “not being positive”. If you don’t share in the mass delusion, halucination your days in corporate america, the government and media are very limited. Really they are. Its important to be aware of these shills–the sacary thing is that many of them do believe what they say……

    1. franz

      Caught a good movie on cable called ‘Everything Must Go’ with Will Ferrell. I suspect this will soon be a lot of people’s narrative as the recovery lie hits the fan at year’s end. Confident upbeat people can often make me leary.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Think how management gurus and self help gurus have prepared people for this conditioning; to encourage managers to subtly manipulate workers attitudes toward work.

      Plus, corporations blow a lot of money on executive education and management training, etc. It always seemed like such a waste to me. But if you look at it as corporate propaganda maybe it’s worth the price. It’s not so much about giving people skills as it is conditioning them to be modern day slave masters.

      Not to mention the prevalence of people like Malcolm Gladwell and John Stossel and other neoliberal cultural warriors/propagandists. Their opinions are being shoved into our brain whenever we go to Yahoo to look at email or get on an elevator or walk into a store that has the news on.

      So yeah, we are not only expected to suffer under neoliberal rule in the workplace, we’re expected to internalize the propaganda. They want us to want to become managers ourselves someday so we can subtly manipulate our colleagues, and then became a master of the universe and enjoy all the perks.

    1. JTFaraday

      Well, but abstracted from Davidson’s musing about this particular financial indicator, it’s still probably closer to the truth to say that the weather reports caused “the hurricane” than saying “the hurricane” was an Act of God that reveals Lords Dimon and Blankfein have found divine favor and there’s nothing any mere mortal can do about it.

  18. ltr

    An astonishingly ignorant and pretentious essay by the astonishingly ignorant and pretentious Davidson.

  19. ChrisPacific

    More bastardisation of Keynes.

    What Keynes actually said was that people who are uncertain about the future tend to hoard for safety rather than consume, and that this can generate negative feedback loops and make a bad economic situation worse. Populist economists have taken this to mean that economic problems are all in the mind and they can be solved by positive thinking.

    This misses the point that people who are uncertain about the future may be uncertain for quite rational reasons, and because of real world problems. The true Keynesian solution would be to address the underlying problems that are causing people to be uncertain about the future, thereby giving them the confidence to spend more freely. I am not sure exactly what those problems are for most people, but a short list of candidates might include: unemployment, the housing and mortgage crisis, the rising cost of healthcare, attacks on Social Security, and loss of faith in the integrity of US capital markets and policy due to recent crisis/bailout events. All of those would be worthy candidates for corrective action on the part of government, and would probably have an additional ‘multiplier’ effect on the economy if they succeeded in improving people’s security about the future and thereby changing their propensity to consume.

    Pixie dust and happy thoughts will not work if the underlying problems remain real and unaddressed. They are more likely to add a new problem to the list: loss of faith in the ability of the economics establishment (and media) to contribute useful solutions. If it’s clear that the establishment is engaging in Orwellian doublespeak intended to part people from their cash, people are likely to become even more defensive in their spending patterns.

    1. F. Beard

      Agrees except for a confusion about feedback:

      Positive feedback increases something – whether good or ill.

      Negative feedback decreases something – whether good or ill.

      Positive feedback is usually bad because even good things are bad in excess.

        1. F. Beard

          Correct but the larger the need for correction, the greater the negative feedback normally is.

      1. ChrisPacific

        Good catch, thanks. Call it plain “feedback loops” then to save confusion – I think the point is still clear.

    1. Barry Fay

      Ives should link to this palaver? Just self-serving, self-agrandizing and platitude ridden BS. Reminds me of all the geniuses at the racetrack after their horse has actually won the race: they KNEW. Right! The fact is, he was just LUCKY, just like the racetrack guy, because even if he could see that things might collapse he could not know WHEN – which is IN FACT the deciding factor (another year later and his portfolio would have perished)! Want an example: there will definitely be ANOTHER financial collapse: now: what play should I make?

      1. Capo Regime

        You miss the point completely. Its a graduation speech–its meant to be cliche ridden.

        The point is and aligns with the post and a them of NC is that unlike Davidson this fellow was ciritical of the fed and powers that be and was subject to all manner of intimidation. Whether or not he is a saint is immaterial or the tone of his speech, what is important is that dissent is squelched.

        1. Barry Fay

          First, if “the point” was for me to listen to a bunch of platitudes, no thanks (no matter what the occasion). And second: Well aren´t you just ready to accept his rendition of his martyrdom! Do you really think that the “powers-that-be” would be so concerned about some measly op-ed piece. Please, there are thousands every day. It´s more likely that, as is usual among these Wall Street types, there was some “funny business” going on and now he characterizes the investigation as a political vendetta (the USUAL!). Unless you have some knowledge (there is somehow NONE on the internet) of the basis of the investigation, which I´m sure you do not, then you are only revealing your joy at finding another “government conspiracy!

  20. Capo Regime

    Check it out–must view.

    Gets interesting at 14
    He wrote an op ed how the Fed could not predict anything
    And the FBI started an investigation of his firm.

    Said emperor has no clothes so he is out 1 million in legal fees and thousands of hours of his life–why? He dared speak the truth and diverge from the happy horseshit that is the prevailing orthodoxy.

  21. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Apparently, Davidson is the emcee telling us to follow the bouncing ball in a rousing chorus of: “Happ-py talk, keep talkin’ Happ-py talk.” Or maybe the “Champagne Music” of Lawrence Welk will help the masses to see things more positively?

    Yves, you’re swifter than Mencken, just as trenchant, but you lay down the slam in spades with a courteous, dignified manner. You’re one of a kind.

  22. craazyman

    The Problem is YOu!

    And me. I don’t care what the jobs number is. Nothing. Almost nothing will get me to spend money. First, I hate spending money on almost anything. Second, I hate shopping, it is an ordeal of boredom and confusion. And third, what is there to buy? How much crap does one person need? Less is more. I use a film camera, mostly. Not that digital is too weird for me. No. I know quite a lot about it, actually. But it get in the way of what I want to do. Although I do have a Nikon DSLR which I do use. But I won’t buy the D700, what for?

    How many pots do you need? How many knives? 75% of the economy runs on buying crap. And china’s on making crap.

    How much crap is too much? Nobody really needs 1/2 of what they have. They’d be better off without it. Simplify. Of course now so many people survive by selling or making crap that it’s a humanitarian crisis. all the crap everywhere and nowhere to go. even the iPad is crap. it would be better to rest the brain instead.

    Of course, if you live in a project in some slum and work the streets picking up trash. Even then, you could probably simplify. But it would be nice to have a house and a yard.

    Some things are real. but most of the economy is imaginary. And if you change your mind, it all goes away. Poof. Gone.

    1. F. Beard

      First, I hate spending money on almost anything. craazyman

      Except Xanax?

      I live modestly myself and don’t feel like I have ever been a big part of the problem.

      As for everyone else, I forgive them for driving up my cost of living by being driven into debt by the counterfeiting cartel. You should too.

  23. Schofield

    The pendulum’s swinging the other way now as its done before. No intelligent individual who’s taken the trouble to think things through accepts any longer the Neo-Liberal belief set that people like Adam Davidson navigate their life by. People like Thomas Palley and Eric Reinert present a different paradigm to the flawed Neo-Liberal one:-

    http://www.newamerica.net/files/Thomas_Palley_America's_Exhausted_Paradigm.pdf

    http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue60/Reinert60.pdf

  24. argus

    The New York Times is a far more dangerous propaganda tool than FOX ‘news’

    Because they do a marvelous job of mixing articles of integrity with those that are pure lies/propaganda.

    And the effect of publishing truth with lies is that readers believe all articles are truths.

    It is absolutely brilliant and it sucks in most ‘progressives’

  25. Maria

    I started my business in 2000 as a consultant. I have been successful up unitl the collapse of 2008. I tried to continue business but it has died. Those inside the beltway have a different reality than the rest of us.

  26. Barry Fay

    This article is so poorly edited and has so many typos and mistaken words that I could not get through the eary paragraphs (it should not be my job to “figure out” what the writer must have “wanted” to say). A little more commitment to excellence in composition might signify an underlying commitment to thoroughness of thought.

  27. Rustam

    Some here might be interested in the NYTimes eXaminer (link: nytexaminer.com) for critique, analysis and commentary on the New York Times from a left perspective.

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