Watch #3: Wag the Economy
by Jerald Cumbus (JCMach1)
Sugarplums caught in my throat this week as visions of war,
and a questionable videotape, dominated the news. The
plot similarities to the film Wag the Dog could not
be more obvious. Bush took the opportunity this week
to coverup the release of very disappointing
November sales figures (the worst
in a decade)and the news of theABM Treaty's demise with
the release of the bin Laden dinner tape.
While it was clear that the tape was ready to release earlier
in the week, it was delayed to coincide with the other unpleasant
reports coming out of Washington. The result, of course,
was a vast black hole of news coverage. It was 24 non-stop
hours of My Dinner With Osama.
Despite recent efforts by the Press to spin the unemployment
situation as improving, corporate layoffs continue unabated.
, American Express, and massive proposed layoffs at Boeing (among others)
served as Holiday bonuses for America's workers this
Meanwhile, you can enjoy folding your
pinkslip into an origami angel for the National
Christmas Tree, or you can checkout the deep
discounting already occuring at many of our country's
retail stores if your car hasn't already been repossessed.
On a serious note, for those of you intent on "doing your
business across the country" this season Depression Watch
is introducing a new tool to help you understand how well
(or otherwise) the economy is doing.
The Economic Depression
Indicator is a new composite measure designed to show
exactly how close we are to slipping into the Abyss.
The Economic Depression Indicator for the week of December
17, 2001 is as follows:
A score of 100 or more would indicate a depression.
This week's indicator rose 0.6 from the week of December 10.
In order to give you some perspective of what this means,
when Clinton left office the EDI stood at 35.3.