The age old question comes up in Robert Samuelson’s column on the economy. He says the glass is half full and it is up to us to keep filling it up. This is from the Washington Post.
It may be time to move beyond pessimism. Ever since the financial crisis, Americans have wallowed in fear and anxiety. Understandably. Although a recovery — as defined by academic economists — started about two years ago, it hasn’t felt like one. Of the 8.7 million payroll jobs lost in the recession, only 1.8 million have returned. The recovery rivals the slowest since World War II and faces continued threats. High oil prices. Europe’s debt crisis. Unexpected inflation. Washington’s bickering over the federal debt ceiling.
All true. But it’s also true that the recovery seems increasingly self-propelled. Americans are shopping again, albeit with less fervor; exports are improving; companies are hiring. Massive government spending and the Federal Reserve’s low interest rates seem less crucial to growth. Although this is good news, the pervasive post-crisis gloom prevents us from acknowledging it.
I think he is right. I know I am certainly gloomy over the state of the nation and pessimistic about its future, not necessarily just the economy. The economy to me, is just a symptom of what has happened in the government. We will survive, but what will we survive as? Read all he has to say here.