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[From NPR Planetmoney, starting at 8:15:][1]

MALONE: Back in 2010, there was a lot of what economists call slack in the labor market. Slack basically just means it's easy for employers to go find someone else to fill your job. Now, of course, unemployment has been dropping for years now. And Scott says everyone's been looking for signs that this slack has gone away.
HORSLEY: And the thing about slack is if there's a little slack or a lot of slack, it's kind of the same result. I mean, if you think about your dog walking along on a leash, if there's a foot of leash dragging on the ground or 3 inches of leash dragging on the ground, as long as there's a little bit of slack, it feels the same to you and the dog.

Horsley is making an analogy between "a little slack or a lot of slack" and "a foot of leash dragging on the ground or 3 inches of leash dragging on the ground."
I don't really understand it here. What does he mean by "as long as there's a little bit of slack, it feels the same to you and the dog." From the analogy I still can't grab the idea of "a little slack or a lot of slack." [1]: https://www.npr.org/transcripts/728723289

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If the leash is slack (neither the owner nor the dog is pulling it taut), it feels the same whether a foot (30 cm) or 3 inches (about 7.5 cm) is trailing on the ground.

Similarly, if an employer can easily recruit new staff, the actual number of unemployed people looking for work makes no difference to them.

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In a literal sense, "slack" (as a noun) on something like an animal's leash means that the cord is not pulled taut, is hanging down slightly, the result of which is that there is some freedom of movement for the animal. The more 'slack' on a leash, the more freedom there would be to move. Allowing only a little slack would mean that, if the animal moved too much beyond what you allowed, they would be pulled back and restricted.

It is commonly used as an analogy for freedom within the confines of a system. "Allowing some slack" means that you have something organised or under control, but there is some flexibility or 'freedom of movement' within the system.

In your specific example, the statement "as long as there's a little bit of slack, it feels the same to you and the dog" means that, in a literal sense, a little bit of slackness on the leash allows some movement, and as long as the dog kept within certain boundaries, they would feel as if they were free. Likewise, so long as the dog-walker kept pace with the dog, they wouldn't feel a pull on the leash. As an analogy, this might infer that if you allow someone a little bit of freedom, they will feel free, even if they do have some wider-reaching restrictions on them.

An opposite analogy is "to keep a tight rein" on something (a 'rein' is like a leash, but for a horse), meaning that you closely monitor or manage something so that there is little freedom.

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