I’ve got a new piece up on TIME.com about the spate of slightly better-than-expected economic numbers we’ve been seeing over the past week or two. I make no bold predictions in it, but I’ll make one here: We are in fact seeing the beginning of the end of this recession in the U.S. But the recovery will be fitful and problematic, and we won’t have to wait seven years for the next downturn.
The operative historical parallel—albeit with different kinds of economic problems and probably worse ones—would seem to be the second half of the 1970s. Which I guess doesn’t bode so well for an incumbent president. Although Bobby Jindal ain’t no Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter probably would have won if the election had been held in 1979.