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Initial post: Mar 6, 2013 11:37:05 AM PST
The curves start at about the time the bill to bail out AIG and Bear Stearns was passed. This could not possibly have caused an immediate break in the unemployment curve, as shown, but simply prevented a total collapse of the financial system. The stimulus bill was passed in February 2009 and money first entered the system in April when the unemployment rate was about 9.5%. Notwithstanding the dangers of extrapolation mentioned by Silver, the trend as of April 2009 clearly was headed for 15 to 20%. Instead, the stimulus caused the curve to break at 9.5%, rising later to 10.1% before declining thereafter. The stimulus did not solve the unemployment problem, but it definitely prevented it from getting worse, so it did not "fail," as the Republicans kept saying. The bottom two curves in Figure 1-6 make no sense whatever and it is hard to believe that the White House seriously promoted those ideas, and that Silver did not point out their fallacies.
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The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't
The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't by Nate Silver (Hardcover - September 27, 2012)
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