Over at Bloomberg, Caroline Baum adds to the efforts of those who would point out that all the constant cable news talk over “uncertainty” cramping economic growth is a hot wad of nonsense, in that it doesn’t actually describe a real-live set of toxic economic conditions. Rather, it’s newspeak shorthand for “lets give CEOs more tax breaks, because otherwise they won’t create jobs fast enough.” It’s pretty to think that “jobs” are commodities created out of the good vibes that CEOs are extracting from the universe, but that’s not actually how these things work.
Baum points out a number of interesting data points. Apparently while we were supposed to be dreading all this “uncertainty” — and surveys bore out the fact that people were, in fact, dreading it tremendously — the economy was, in the 4th quarter of last year, actually ticking along. It improved “specifically in the three areas — hiring, capital spending and sales.”
Baum concludes that “we got snookered by a euphemism that was more an excuse to prevent an undesirable political outcome (tax increases) than a reflection of intent.”