In the Wall Street Journal today, President Obama’s top economic advisor, Larry Summers, is quoted as saying “the unemployment rate — currently at 9.5% — is 1 to 1.5 percentage points higher than would be expected under one economic rule of thumb.” [emphasis added]
Back on March 16, I reported on this blog of the work done by a former business school professor of mine. The original post can be found here. Professor Harvey just ran the numbers and forecast an 11% to 12% eventual unemployment rate. He reconfirmed that number on July 3rd. You can see his blog post here.
So, Dr. Summers is using economic “rules of thumb” to run the economy? Hasn’t he ever heard of analysis? Is he not terribly good in math? Maybe President Obama ought to try someone else as his top economic advisor. Someone with innate skills in math and science — perhaps a woman. But don’t ask Dr. Summers for any recommendations because chances are it won’t be a woman. Remember, it was Dr. Summers who opined that innate differences might be the reason fewer women excel in math and science.
In Dr. Summers defense, maybe he was just using a rule-of-thumb then, too.