The Fed reported a sharp jump in manufacturing output in December, demonstrating that factory owners were too dumb to realize that they were supposed to be cutting back production because of worries over the fiscal cliff. Earlier in the week the Commerce Department reported that consumers were also too stupid to realize that they were supposed to be cutting back their purchases over such concerns. Clearly the economy has serious problems when manufacturers and consumers refuse to act in the way that leading economists say they should be acting.

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