Mr. "Audacity of Hope" indeed. Hey, what else can he do? He's never done anything, run anything, or made right anything that was wrong. He has to piss all over the economy to distinguish himself and make the Republicans seem incompetent by comparison. But I'll guarantee one thing: no matter who wins in November, the economy will miraculously recover, or at least we'll stop hearing doom and gloom stories all the time. Journalists will find something else to mope about, and we can all get on with our lives.
So why the long faces? Sen. Obama reminds them every day of how dreary things are. Here's what Mr. "Audacity of Hope" told workers in Ohio last week: "Everywhere I go . . . you see people who have worked in a plant for 20 years, put their heart and soul into building profits for shareholders. Suddenly, the rug's pulled out from under them; the job's shipped overseas." Not only that, he explains: "They don't have health care. They don't have a pension. They're trying to compete with their teenage kids for a job paying $7 an hour at the local fast food joint."
Times are tough in many old industrial areas of the country. And middle-class anxiety about the costs of health care and higher education is real. But new data from the Census Bureau reveal that Americans of all income groups have made enormous gains in their standard of living in recent decades. As late as 1970, air conditioning, color TVs, washing machines, dryers and microwaves were considered luxuries. Today the vast majority of even poor families have these things in their homes. Almost one in three "poor" families has not one but at least two cars.
Consumption in real per-capita terms has nearly doubled since 1970. The single largest increase in expenditures for low-income households over the past 20 years was for audio and visual entertainment systems -- up 119%. In 2007 Americans spent an estimated $1 billion to change the tune of the ringer on their cellphones. Eating in restaurants used to be something the rich did regularly and the middle class did on special occasions. The average family now spends $2,700 a year dining out.
Thomas Sowell said it best: very few people understand economics, and none of them work in the news industry. You used to have to be an expert in a certain field before they'd let you write about it, but now you have to be an expert in news writing before they'll give you a chance to learn about the field you're supposed to report on. That's all kinds of backward and stupid. Don't believe the hype about anything, and especially not the US economy.
Link from Paul Katcher.