I’d have had more respect for this editorial if it had been called “Welcome to the Recovery, Don’t Mind the Smell,” but perhaps that’s a bit too lowbrow for somebody as elevated as the Treasury Secretary. Or maybe the stench just doesn’t waft that high.
From the NY Times:
The recession that began in late 2007 was extraordinarily severe, but the actions we took at its height to stimulate the economy helped arrest the freefall, preventing an even deeper collapse and putting the economy on the road to recovery.
While the economy has a long way to go before reaching its full potential, last week’s data on economic growth show that large parts of the private sector continue to strengthen. Business investment and consumption — the two keys to private demand — are getting stronger, better than last year and better than last quarter. Uncertainty is still inhibiting investment, but business capital spending increased at a solid annual rate of about 17 percent.
Most of the column is a hodgepodge of data points that purportedly spell recovery. I don’t have the time to rip through them point by point, but I will say this: it’s amazing to me that the only people convinced by the “strength” of this recovery seem to live in the vicinity of Pennsylvania Avenue and Wall Street, and even on those two thoroughfare’s you can find doubters (if not outright agitators.)
I’ll also note that nowhere does he tout wage gains. Because he can’t. I’ve been trying to put together a post on this topic, but haven’t had a chance what with our daily Upshot columns (which end Friday, by the by.) But to my thinking this is the one most important, critical measure among the universe of data points that get spewed out on a regular basis. Take a look at today’s report on income and spending. Hey, look at that; wages went nowhere. How quaint.
Until we see some long-term, inflation-adjusted sustainable wage gains, this economy will not grow in a sustatinable fashion, and we will be vulnerable to booms and busts and related shocks.