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Contrarian Me and Conformist Self are at it again

February 7, 2012

This is another example of the kind of conversation I have with myself. There’s a part of me (Contrarian Me) that can’t help but question the government’s actions in regards to the economy, and doesn’t think the economy is really getting any better. Another part of me (Conformist Self) really wants to believe all the great reports in the media about how the economy is on the mend. My Conformist Self often thinks Contrarian Me is an idiot.

Conformist Self: Ha, ha, ha, ha……

Contrarian Me: What’s so funny? 

Conformist Self: (uncontrollable laughter)

Contrarian Me: Let me guess. You are laughing because you think either last week’s employment numbers (243,000 newly employed Americans in January — which dropped the unemployment rate to 8.3 percent — or the equity market’s new 11-year high (NASDAQ) is proof that our economy truly is on the mend.

Conformist Self: Wow, you really are thick. Of course it’s proof that our economy is on the mend! It’s undeniable proof! If this doesn’t prove the Fed’s policy is putting your theories to shame, you are a bigger imbecile than I first thought. Admit it, you were wrong and you will always be wrong.

Contrarian Me: You know there is someone else who expressed doubt about the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) employment numbers last Friday. I find Mr. Charles Biderman’s analysis worth consideration because he uses data that cannot be manipulated. You can find his link here:…/bidermans-daily-edge-232012-is-bls-data-skew

Conformist Self: You truly are helpless! I bet it took you all night to find someone who wants to look at this great news like “your glass is half empty” type of thinking.

Contrarian Me: Actually, I think Biderman makes some excellent points. 

Conformist Self: Of course you would… he is an imbecile too!

Contrarian Me: OK, since you are such an expert, explain to me why, as President Obama was quick to point out, if the remarkably improved employment numbers are evidence that his policies (and by extension, the Fed’s policies) are clearly working, why is the Fed considering further easing and are now promising to keep their interest rate at near zero?

Conformist Self: What?

Contrarian Me: If — as the stock market, BLS, the mainstream media and even the president all wants us to believe —the economic and monetary policy they have implemented over the past 3 ½ years is responsible for this “obvious” recovery, why is there need to consider further monetary easing and a further extension of the free Fed borrowing rate for 2 ½ more years?

Conformist Self: They are making sure this recovery is on solid ground.

Contrarian Me: Or maybe it shows a lack of confidence that this recovery is real.

Conformist Self: So everyone buying stocks and driving up the indexes, the BLS, nearly every economist, our central bankers and our elected officials are wrong and you are right?!? You are in need of some serious counseling.   

One Comment
  1. February 8, 2012 8:26 am

    “I find Mr. Charles Biderman’s analysis worth consideration because he uses data that cannot be manipulated. ”

    Is there such a thing? 8 out of ten economists disagree with 40% or your statements, 30% of the time…give or take a few.

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