The U.S. Recovery Is Historically Good. Why Does It Feel Terrible? – The Atlantic

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17 Responses

    • Don Zeko in reply to notme says:

      That may be the dumbest, most obviously cherry-picked economic statistic I’ve heard all year.Report

      • notme in reply to Don Zeko says:


        So you prefer inequality of income growth vs GDP as a “real” statistic? Next you will tell me Obama’s stimulus was a rousing success.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to notme says:

      I’m not endorsing the claim that it’s Obama’s fault—although the tax hikes and new regulations probably haven’t helped—but coming out of a recession this deep without a single year of 3% growth rate really is pretty sad. Normally after a recession there’s a period of faster-than-normal catch-up growth, and GDP returns to the pre-recession trend line, with the recession doing no permanent damage to the economy. This even happened after the Great Depression. We lost 4-5 years of GDP growth, and It’s looking increasingly likely that we will not get it back.Report

  1. Jaybird says:

    One of the things that was hammered into me over and over and over and over and over again:

    It’s not about an absolute standard. It’s about a relative standard. Moreover, it’s not about a measurable relative standard, it’s about a qualitative relative standard.

    This is why increasing inequality is bad even if the people at the bottom are measurably better than they were ten years prior.

    Frans de Waal had a pretty interesting Ted Talk about this.

    • Snarky McSnarksnark in reply to Jaybird says:


      You never cease to surprise me!Report

      • While in Qatar, I had an epiphany about the whole absolute vs. relative thing. While it might be technically true that it’s better for everybody if the absolute baseline is increased dramatically for the worst off, if the *PERCEPTION* is that that doesn’t matter because of the *PERCEPTION* of the relative difference between the (still worst off) and the best off has increased (the best off get jetpacks or something), the society as a society will have a lot less trust/collaboration.

        And I’m beginning to suspect that it’s more important to have high trust/collaboration than higher baselines for the worst off.Report

    • Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

      Always interesting that the moment minimum wage raises are broached, the groups crowing about absolute and relative standards are reversed.Report

  2. Chip Daniels says:

    We’ve talked about this before. Set aside for the moment whether “we” are doing better, the same or worse.

    Why is the mood so anxious, why is there so little confidence that the future will be prosperous?Report

    • notme in reply to Chip Daniels says:


      Don’t you know the anxiety is only caused by republican fear mongering. Everything else is great, just ignore the bad economy, lots of illegals, a record federal debt, Islamic terrorism etc. The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.Report