Two Odd Economic Signs

by DavalosMcCormack on April 10, 2009

Apparently the recession isn’t just resulting in cuts in the job market. According to a new survey the souring economy is also resulting in cuts in other areas.. men’s genitals!

I kid you not. According to an article in Healthday, doctors are reporting that since the recession began they have seen a sizable increase in the number of men getting vasectomies.

The article quotes a doc at New York’s Cornell Institute for Reproductive Medicine saying he has seen a 48 percent increase in the number of men coming in for vasectomy consultations in the past year.

The folks at Cleveland Clinic have seen similar swelling in volume, with the number of chaps getting the chop up by 75 percent.

So what is behind the uptick in dick docking? The doctors are speculating that with all the job losses some men have decided they don’t want to take any chances they might have more kids.

Or it may be that some are men who still have a job and want to take care of this issue, by ensuring they don’t have any more issue, while they still have health care coverage.

So while some people may say there is no difference between a downturn and a depression this shows there is in fact a vas deferens!

And speaking of which. Here’s another fascinating non-economic sign that could be a reflection of people’s feelings about the state of the economy, or their hopes about the economy, or just a reason for otherwise sober economists to stare at women.

It used to be thought that if  the hemlines of women’s skirts rose, that was a sign that the stock market too was on the rise.

The other night we were out walking and Shirley, taking into account that old maxim, observed that good times surely lay ahead if the length of skirts was any indication because half the gals we saw were wearing very short skirts indeed.

This so-called “hemline theory” reportedly has its roots in the 1920’s when economist George Taylor pointed out that when times are good some women raise their hemlines to show that they are wearing silk stockings. In bad times they lower their hemlines to hide the fact that they aren’t wearing any.

But apparently no one really cares these days if you are wearing silk stockings so the changes in fashion are really just that.. changes in fashion.. and not indications of stock market prognostications.

Still, you have to allow for the fact that this could be predictive of something. Or at least pretend it is because otherwise how are econ geeks ever going to have a chance to stare at cute gals in short skirts and pretend it is research.

But don’t despair, there is a theory that it wasn’t the silk stockings at all, but the general feeling of taking more risks.  Thus, a shorter skirt is risky!

Then again, you could always remind them of the words of that genius economist J. K. Galbraith who said “That the only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable!!!

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