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Dec 19, 2023

t’s hard to even recognize good news anymore. No matter what the good news might be, it won’t be long before someone from ‘the other side’ energetically claims it’s cherry picked, not completely accurate, or my favorite, that the news is actually bad.

Good news of the week: the U.S. economy is outperforming almost every country on Earth.


Real GDP in Q2 2023 v Q4 2019


I should pause there, so those on ‘the other side’ of that accurate, documentable, statement of fact can get its alternative description of the situation together. OK, now that the crowd who wants us to believe everything is actually terrible is ready, we can proceed.

On January 19, 2021, the day before Joe Biden was inaugurated, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed at $30,930.52. On Friday, the Dow closed at an all-time high of $37,305.16. Now, the market doing well, and the economy doing well is not the exact same thing. But I remember a president who pounded that erroneous equivalency into our heads. It was the last president. While it might be cute to agree with him this one time just because it’s convenient for my side, I won’t.

The Dow is just one measure of how the economy is working. There’s more to it than that, of course.

Steve Rattner, an investment banker and financial journalist, discussed the impact of the Federal Reserve Board’s quarterly meeting on MSNBC last Wednesday. He said this holiday season, “Inflation on goods, from used cars to computers and televisions is actually turned into deflation. Prices on those goods are actually lower than they were a year ago.”

Again, it is not the rate of increase that has shrunk. It is that prices themselves are lower. For consumers, during their spendiest time of the year, that seems like good news. But again, not if your side wants consumers to be mad, and stay mad, until further notice.

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