The Working Class Economist: The U.S. Economy is Back, so Let’s Act Like It

By | December 5, 2012

“The sky is falling!” “We’re all gonna die!” “China’s gonna own us by the end of the year!” “Deficit, deficit, deficit!” “And those Goddamn taxes and unemployment numbers!”

We’ve heard so much doom and gloom about the U.S. economy, that we may be completely disconnected from the reality of it. And here it is: the…U.S….economy…is…back! Large and in charge, king of the (global financial) castle, master of our (marketplace) domain, we…are…back, period.

How do we know this? Unemployment has been down nearly every consecutive month for the past three years. Corporate profits are staggeringly higher than three years ago. The stock market has doubled. And, most importantly——-this is the best indicator of where Main Street is and not just Wall Street——–black Friday sales were up 12 percent over last year, not to mention that the Thanksgiving weekend box office shattered records with nearly a quarter billion dollars in ticket sales.

This means people have more money to, as the old cliche goes “spend on things they don’t need” (a truer sign of economic recovery doesn’t exist) and the more cars/TVs/Video games/appliances/clothing they buy, the more that feeds into and strengthens a consumer based economy like our own. Spending money on shit you don’t need are about the only jobs America’s got left, and who says we don’t need it? I would argue we do need people to buy that second sweater so Macy’s can stay in business and employ millions. [The middle class’s spending feeds into the larger economy in a much more direct way than trickle down economics.]

But now comes the harder part of the recovery: accepting it. America has been down in the dumps for so long (a mood favored by the ultimate Debbie Downers, the Republican Party, who hoped to spread so many doomsday prophecies that people might believe one of them and turn to Romney in a moment of panic) that we may be almost completely disconnected from the positive side of things. Sometimes, we have to learn to take good news for an answer, and that time is right now.

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