The recent jubilance among economic forecasters is enough to make even weather forecasters blush. “Just look at the bull market! Look at home prices! Look at consumer confidence!” I can understand the jubilation in the narrow sense that we’ve been down so long everything looks up. But prophecies can’t be self-fulfilling if they’re based on wishful thinking.
On Tuesday the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 14,270. The stock market is basically back to where it was in 2000, while corporate earnings have doubled since then. Yet the real median wage is now 8 percent below what it was then and unemployment remains sky-high. Why is the stock market doing so well, while most Americans are doing so poorly? Here are four reasons.
Analysts are heralding the Dow Jones’ jumps past 13,000 on two brief occasions Tuesday as a sign that all this talk of economic recovery may be more bull market than, well, bull. Here’s hoping they’re right.
For his part, Stephen Colbert doesn’t see Naomi Wolf’s point about Blackwater USA’s recent shameful shenanigans in Iraq somehow heralding a fast-approaching era of fascism in America. Instead, the faux-pundit believes the trend is more toward “a bull market for shooting people” these days.