The recent jubilance among economic forecasters is enough to make even weather forecasters blush. “Just look at the bull market! Look at home prices! Look at consumer confidence!” I can understand the jubilation in the narrow sense that we’ve been down so long everything looks up. But prophecies can’t be self-fulfilling if they’re based on wishful thinking.
George W. Bush and his father share more than a last name. Reports show that August's unemployment rate increased past the level initially forecast, rising to 6.1 percent. But even more disturbing is the fact that the misery index -- unemployment aggregated with inflation -- also soared to its highest level since 1991, when George H.W. Bush was in office.