Unexpected!

Glenn Reynolds has humorously documented the seemingly-endless parade of bad economic news, which time after time is described in the press as “unexpected.” Apparently it is always a surprise when left-wing economic policies don’t work. It happened again today, with the announcement that new unemployment claims rose to a nine-month high of 500,000. This is one of hundreds of news stories that called the bad news “unexpected.”
The Hill supplies the political context: “White House’s ‘recovery summer’ could be slipping away.”

A new Labor Department report that shows an unexpected jump in jobless claims may be the death knell for the White House’s “recovery summer.” …
The weak job numbers are raising fears that the private sector may actually cut more jobs than it adds in August, which would likely cause the unemployment rate to rise. That scenario would be a political blow to Democrats, who fear Republicans will ride a wave of voter discontent on the economy to majorities in the House and Senate this fall. …
The Obama administration had hoped to gain some momentum on economic issues heading into the midterm elections. The White House launched a six-week “recovery summer” campaign in mid-June to tout the achievements of the $787 billion economic stimulus, which officials said saved and created millions of jobs. [Ed.: Insert hollow laughter here.]
But a slew of disappointing economic reports this month have made it difficult for the administration to argue that progress has been made in the effort to bounce back from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

While our economy is enormously complicated, it seems reasonably clear that the current slump has turned into the “worst downturn since the Great Depression” precisely because of the ill-advised policies of the Obama administration. Those policies contradict the lessons of history, and there is no reason why their failure should be unexpected.

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