© Ketian Chen | Dreamstime.com
We begin this Independence Day celebration in the U.S. with a rather gloomy attitude.
We’re still losing good men and women to the misguided and mishandled Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Fuel and food prices seem to be climbing as we watch. Once my monthly bills from ExxonMobil, my gasoline purveyor of choice (the reason why this is so is worthy of a post of its own — soon!) were under $100. Now, maintaining the same or less driving, as I try to mitigate the costs of commuting with more days working from home, I’m relieved if that bill is under $200.
What we hear of the economy (job losses, inflation rate) and its thermometer (the Dow Jones Industrial Average) is disturbing. Aren’t we officially in recession?
Every one of us knows someone, or more than one, job-seeking.
And the news from the world outside our parochial boundaries is not much better. War news from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan remains grim. The president of Zimbabwe, certain that he’d lose in a fair election, murdered thousands of opposition supporters, and sent his opponent fleeing to the Netherlands embassy for shelter. Israel seems to be seriously considering a preemptory attack on Iran’s nuclear bomb facilities. Gazprom, the Russian petroleum/natural gas giant, has its sights set on becoming the largest corporation in the world before long. How can any of that be good by any measure?
Well, a couple of chieftains at the Federal Reserve Bank have decided to show us a glass half full version of the part of the story they influence, the economy. And, it makes for some attention-grabbing reading.