Seriously, I’m coming up on 9 years of writing here, and this is the first time I’ve been able to write those words without meaning it sarcastically.
First, unemployment is down to 8.1% (locally, down to 12.4%). That’s still too high, and it still doesn’t account for people who have given up on finding a job and people who have settled for part time work. And the economy still isn’t quite up to making enough jobs for people new to the workforce, and new grads are still going to have a crappy time out there. However, not that long ago we were looking at almost 10%.
Second, there are signs of life in American manufacturing. Auto plants are working at capacity, and may have to actually hire an additional shift of workers — which is much less expensive than building a new plant and then having it sit idle 16 hours a day. Some industries that decided it was cheaper to make it overseas and ship it here are thinking twice. Senior executives are cautiously optimistic, and 40% report moving operations to the United States.
Finally, home prices are starting to inch up. Granted, this is at least in part because of reduced supply (and at least in part because prices got stupid-low on a per-square-foot basis in some places).
So there you have it. People are getting jobs and buying stuff. Some manufacturers are running out of the ability to make more stuff — so they may have to build places and hire people to make even more stuff. Maybe soon the Fed can raise interest rates from the supposedly “stimulating” levels they are today, and in turn banks will be able to make a reasonable profit lending money without making up fees or outright committing fraud.
In Closing: Who could have guessed that Citizens United could open the door to ordinary people taking over elections?; never forget Romney’s dog; Tokyo Sky Tree now open; too useful to be real; cheap and free ebooks; yet one more reason I’m against school vouchers; FISA; $27,000??; and the Vatican gets outraged when nuns actually act on What Would Jesus Do.