8 Questions

Today seems to be my day for being inspired by other people’s ideas. Inspired by Russ Stewart, who writes a column for my small local newspaper and who seems to be a pretty savvy guy, I’d like to solicit the answers to some questions about what’s likely to happen in the fairly near future from the OTB commentariat. Here goes.

  1. What will the unemployment rate be in the United States on September 1, 2009?
    1. 8%
    2. 8.5%
    3. 9%
    4. higher than 9%
  2. Will a fiscal stimulus plan be enacted?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  3. What will the multiplier effect of that fiscal stimulus be within the period from now to the end of 2010?
    1. 0. The plan won’t be enacted.
    2. .8
    3. 1
    4. 1.5
    5. Greater than 1.5
  4. What will the condition of the U. S. economy be in the fourth quarter of 2009?
    1. A strong recovery will be under way.
    2. A weak recovery will be under way.
    3. We’ll be in a recession.
    4. We’ll be in a depression.
  5. What will President Obama’s approval rating be on December 31, 2009?
    1. 90%
    2. 80%
    3. 70%
    4. 60%
    5. 50%
    6. Below 50%
  6. How many U. S. troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2009?
    1. None
    2. 20,000
    3. 30,000
    4. 50,000
    5. More than 50,000
    6. All of them
  7. Will Israel attack Iran by December 31, 2009?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  8. Will Iran attack Israel (directly) by December 31, 2009?
    1. Yes
    2. No

Here are my answers: 1c, 2a, 3b, 4b, 5d, 6b, 7b, 8b. Have at it.

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Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.


  1. Alex Knapp says:

    1c, 2a, 3c, 4b, 5d, 6d, 7b, 8b

  2. Eneils Bailey says:

    I pretty much agree with your response, given that you have set a date of evaluation as being sometime in 2009, except for questions two and three.

    Number two: It is just a given if the Stimulus Bill does not pass in 2009, it will never get passed.

    Number three: At the end of 2010 if this Stimulus Bill is passed, I see a couple of ticks down from yours.

    Numbers seven and eight: If either scenario does not happen in 2009, I think it is inevitable that major conflict does occur in two to three years.

  3. Michael Edwards says:

    For question 6, is there a standard reference for current troop levels in Iraq?

    1. C.
    2. A. (Closest thing to a lock)
    3. C.
    4. C.
    5. F. (Most speculative one, methinks. Not only does it ride on how question 1 turns out, but it also depends if there’s some kind of “national unity” event between now and then. For this, however, I suspect his approval rating drops down to the overall long-term average of the last two Presidents).
    6. C or D, would like to review the numbers before locking in on an answer.
    7. No. Kind of think if they were going to do anything it would have been before Jan 20.
    8. No. (2nd highest certainty).

  4. PD Shaw says:

    1c, 2a, 3c, 4c, 5e, 6c, 7b, 8b

  5. 1. Lower than 8% is not an option?

    2. Something will be enacted. Calling it a fiscal stimulus doesn’t make it one.

    3. I refuse to engage in discussions of the multiplier effect unless we also talk about the divisor effect — that money had to be taken from someone who now cannot spend it and have it ripple through their community several times, or it has to be borrowed and paid back, or the government has to devalue the currency, or the government has to repudiate its debt. None of these are very attractive. The idea that you get this multiplier for free is kindergarten nonsense, or congressional bullshit, or both.

    4. The question is moot. It isn’t the reality of what the condition of the economy be that matters, but the perception of the condition of the economy that matters. And, of course, this is all predicated on people, Big Media, and people from the government understanding what they hell they are talking about anyway. I’d guess you’d say I’m not optimistic.

    5. f) Below 50%. Only the diehards will still believe.

    6. Who cares when there is hope and change afoot? How many peole can guess within 20% how many troops are still there now? Iraq is so 2008.

    7. That depends on whether Israel wants to be around on January 1, 2010.

    8. That depends on whether Iran wants to be around on January 1, 2010.

  6. Dantheman says:

    1. c (within +/- .2).
    2. a (agree with Michael Edwards — this is a lock. If the question were whether it would be closer to the House version, the Senate Republican version or the compromise version which is supposed to come out shortly, it would be a better question).
    3. somewhere between c and d.
    4. b (with high probability of a double dip recession in 2010).
    5. somewhere between c and d.
    6. d.
    7. b. Even Bibi isn’t that crazy.
    8. b. Why should they? They have no more reason to than Al Qu’eda had reason to attack the US after 9/11, since Bibi will be doing their work for them.

  7. Nathan says:

    1. 8.5%
    2. Yes
    3. 1.5
    4. A weak recovery will be under way.
    5. 60%
    6. More than 50,000
    7. No
    8. No

  8. G.A.Phillips says:

    And Y because hope+change=0

  9. mannning says:

    d,a b,d,f,b,a,a, but 7 and 8 restrict the time far too much. Make it by March or April, 2010.