I don’t know if the guys over at Freakonomics have picked this one up, but maybe the reason that there are a few economics writers who think that we are reaching the end of the downward slope before turning the corner to see the light at the end of the tunnel is because they all have jobs. If you don’t have a job, you don’t get published giving an inherent survivor bias in reporting.
For an alternative point of view they might want to ask one of the 281,000 added to the unemployment statistics last month, making the national total 2.38 million, a rise of 13.33% in a month! Add to that the 2 million who are likely to come of the long term sick list and go on to the unemployed list and the half million or so pre-retirees who are classed as “economically inactive” and the same number of young people on workfare schemes and you have about 20% of the working population who are not gainfully employed. It hasn’t been this bad since the 1930’s.