Recession, or depression? Judge Posner sez . . .

January 12, 2009

Why beat around the bush?  Judge Richard Posner said at his blog:

I suspect that we have entered a depression. There is no widely agreed definition of the word, but I would define it as a steep reduction in output that causes or threatens to cause deflation and creates widespread public anxiety and a sense of crisis.

He has some interesting, and puckering, things to say about Bernanke’s actions, and Obama’s plans, too. His blogging colleague, Nobel-winning economist Gary Becker, has more tentative, still-Friedmanian remarks about crowding out tendencies of government spending.

It’s fun to read good economists trying to make sense of all of this.

I attended a session at the Dallas Fed a few weeks ago.  The VP who gave the main presentation talked about a meeting in which someone asked Bernanke, the great scholar of depressions, a highly technical, academic and potentially embarrassing question about the Fed’s work.  Bernanke closed off with an eye-twinkling comment:  “This would all be very interesting, if it were not happening to me.”

Yeah, if only it weren’t happening to us, now.

Lesson plans on presidential inaugurations: Free download on January 13 & 14

January 12, 2009

New lesson plans and other materials from the Bill of Rights Institute, on presidential inaugurations.  Even better if you’re a cheapskate like me, you can download the inauguration lessons for free, but only on January 13 and 14, 2009.

Bill of Rights Institute

Free-for a limited time only!

Bring the historic Presidential Inauguration of 2009 into your classroom! “Presidential Inauguration: History, Tradition, and the Constitution” helps your students learn more about Inauguration Day from constitutional, historical, and current perspectives.

Those of you who own Being an American: Exploring the Ideals that Unite Us, Second Edition can use your unique passwords to access the lesson at any time. If you do not own the curriculum, you can download the lesson for free for two days only: January 13-14, 2009. Download your lesson at!

To buy Being an American, Second Edition, which gives you a full week of lessons and access to all past and future Web-based materials, click here.

Best deal, especially for U.S. history, spend the $20 and buy the full set of plans.

Also, check out these 25 inauguration videos from the past, at HotChalk.

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