If you don’t think we are in the midst of the most unhinged social science experiment in history, consider the chart below.
It brings to mind our first job on Capitol Hill at the tender age of 25 years, when we were charged with keeping Congressman John Anderson of Illinois abreast of economic developments and stats. Undoubtedly, we reported to him in early 1971 that auto sales had taken a tumble during the Nixon Recession, plunging below 8.5 million units at an annualized rate.
That surely puts the 8.58 million SAAR number for April 2020 in perspective. The latter was down 50% from last year, of course, but, more importantly, this cliff dive occurred in the context of a far, far bigger economy then the one we tracked 50 years ago.