Monday, August 2, 2010

Cause For (Minor) Celebration

One might quibble with categorizing a 208 point rally as "huge", but news that the stock market has gone up is always welcome. The problem is that an improvement in the economic outlook for investors doesn't necessarily translate to an improvement in the outlook for American workers. Job creation numbers remain anemic, and with all the manufacturing and technical capacity that has been permanently lost to offshoring and the summer - and the seasonal labor market it creates in construction, agriculture, and other outdoor-oriented businesses - coming to an end, that seems unlikely to change in the near future. The economy is still almost certain to be the dominant issue in the midterm elections, and is still likely to be an electoral albatross for incumbents - one that will be transferred to the replacements of those who lose shortly after they're sworn in as members of the next Congress. There are still a lot of long-term economic changes to which the country must adjust, so I don't see any reason to celebrate overenthusiastically. A warm day in the dead of winter is pleasant enough, but it shouldn't be mistaken for the arrival of spring.

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