Please don’t tell me that the American economy is moving in the right direction, however slowly, which I hear from politicians and commentators all the time. It isn’t. Not even close.
Key economic metrics offer no encouragement at all — the two big ones, GDP and unemployment, are both woefully inadequate, regardless of what people say. Sure, unemployment as measured by the Department of Labor has gone down, but this is only because the denominator of how many are in the workforce has decreased and is really low as a percent of the population. Meanwhile, GDP will have grown only 1.9% in 2012, which is pathetic. After a serious recession, the economy historically gets one big bounce. It hasn’t happened yet.