“Sigh”: Political economics of Brad DeLong

I like Brad DeLong a great deal. He is a smart fellow, and he has many wonderful insights, especially when he talks about the history and evolution of markets and industries. But when he mixes politics with his economics, as he is prone to do as a Democrat and card-carrying non-supporter of current President Bush, something comes over him.

I won’t get too deeply into it other than to say much of it is largely captured by this: “*Sigh*”. It is what Brad says when something goes less well than expected (according to him) with unemployment, interest rates, growth, and/or the U.S. economy. But too often the “sigh” is a front for statistical cherry-picking. We had another example today, with Brad pointing out that unemployment insurance claims are rising. He knows as well as I do the amount of noise in these figures, and he has pointed it out before — when it suited him, as opposed to suiting the Bush administration.