The Booming Economy Myth

Ken AshfordEconomy & Jobs & DeficitLeave a Comment

Yes, the stock market is playing with all-time highs.  Yes, unemployment is low.


7 in 10 Americans believe the economy is getting worse — the most negative reading in nearly six years.

Only one in three Americans rate the economy today as either excellent or good, while the percentage saying the economy is getting better fell from 28% to 23% in one month.

What gives?  Are Americans stupid?

Hardly.  For most Americans, "economy" isn’t a function of the Dow Jones, the GNP, the trade deficit, or macro-figures like that.  It’s their wallet and checkbook.  If the nation’s CEOs are getting record high pay and salary, of COURSE that’s going to make the economic figures look good.  But if average shmucks like me and you are struggling to make car payments, mortgages, or simply filling our gas tank, those are economic variables that are not reflected in the Dow Jones industrial average.

Or a better example: Unemplyment may be down, but is that because people have to take on two jobs in order to make ends meet?

So be wary when someone throws big numbers at you in the election year, saying how "great" the economy is.  America’s economy may be strong, but that just means that a small number of Americans (and corporations) are doing extremely well, while the rest of us are treading water or sinking.