MOYNIHAN:  To Predict Recession, Read Entrails

LETTER from ROBERT MOYNIHAN

To Predict Recession,

Read Entrails

To the Editor:
Predicting an economic future? Just forget the past and reliable evidence.
1. No society has survived by increasing debt and reducing income – that is our present national pattern of lowering taxes and inflating expenditures.
2. Whatever minor tax relief given average citizens, increased fees and higher prices for goods limit their spending ability.
3. Because of new tariffs, U.S. farming communities already face depressed markets and massive reductions of income.
However, ancient methods do exist for any commentator who erases experience to celebrate a blank slate.
Divination pretends to foretell the future with signs – and there are dozens of them beginning with the a’s – alectryomancy, a chicken eating grains placed next to letters in a circle – ending with xylomancy – the use of supposedly predictive twigs.
When any of these inevitably fail, mythic futurists can turn to road-kill: haruspex forecasts the future when interpreters “read” entrails.
One may become infatuated with ignoramuses, but national decisions based on their actions and statements result in destructive economic policies.

ROBERT MOYNIHAN
Cooperstown


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