nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,
nancylebov
nancylebov

Obama, the economy, and the difficulties of prediction

I've noticed that people who are pro-Obama tend towards "the financial crisis was a really hard problem, and besides, it was Bush's fault". People who are anti-Obama tend towards "It's been four years, and if Obama were a good president, he would have made things a lot better already."

There are some other standard moves-- for example, saying that Obama would have made things better if the Republicans hadn't blocked most of what he tried to do.

However, the question I'm interested in is what do you think are reasonable predictions for recovery under various conditions?

In an interview, Nate Silver (author of FiveThirtyEight and The Signal and the Noise-- Why So Many Predictions Fail But Some Don't) said that this a particularly hard sort of recession to recover from because there's so much fraud and confusion. He predicted the presidential outcome in 49 out of fifty states and the winners in all 35 senate races. Besides, he says that you can't have a good statistical model without understanding what's going on, so I'm very fond of him.

On the other hand, I don't have a timeline for how fast recovery ought to be. What do you think?

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