the greatest depression

How Scary Is Nancy Pelosi’s Graph?

On Friday evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi posted this graph to her blog, the Gavel, which apparently exists. As indicated by the title, “Job Losses in Recent Recessions,” it compares our current job losses to those in the 1990 and 2001 recessions. This of course set the internet ablaze, because, well, damn, look at that thing. That is one steep, startling slope. Plus, from what we’ve been hearing lately from noted pessimist Barack Obama, our economy could get even worse before it gets better. However, the internet, as it is prone to do, quickly became suspicious of the graphic. For one thing, many noted, the numbers were in absolute terms, and not in the form of the percentage of the jobs lost from the total workforce. Additionally, we could use some more historical perspective, because surely Pelosi just cherry-picked two relatively awesome recessions to better support her scare tactics.

So today, Time’s Justin Fox heeded the call of duty, answering both concerns with a brand new graph (we’re the baby-blue line in this one):

Anyone feel any better?

Comparing this recession to the last five [Curious Capitalist/Time]

How Scary Is Nancy Pelosi’s Graph?