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Sunday, May 17, 2015 ISSUE #833
 

Question: Is the Economy Recovering? 

             Since the economy bottomed out about six years ago, the lingering question has been: Is it recovering?  The answer depends on who you ask.

            President Obama would say, “Of course it’s recovering. I ended the recession, job growth is steady with unemployment approaching 5%, consumers have more money to spend because of Obamacare and lower gas prices, interest rates for buying a home are low, and the stock market is in record territory.”

           Others in Washington, mainly Republicans, would counter, “It’s the worst recovery from an economic downturn since the Great Depression. Employment is stagnant, wages are stagnant, and consumers are not spending because they expect the economy to continue muddling along.”  

            So what’s your opinion? Yes, I know I’m the one that’s supposed to provide the answers, or at least an opinion. But whether the economy is good, or not so good, seems to depend on the individual. One man, or one woman, or one family.  You may say the economy is a bummer, and your neighbor may think it’s going full steam. 

            This week President Obama said the wealthy and highly paid folks are “Society’s Lottery Winners” and they should be happy to pay more taxes. That description did not sit well. One thing those men and women have in common is they did not become successful by playing the lottery. Maybe a dozen or so did. But usually it’s hard work, taking risks, a bright idea, determination, a persuasive personality, and other characteristics you all recognize. That is what allows them to take advantage of their opportunities to succeed. 

            Suppose a person with world class skill in one area expands that talent to become a syndicated newspaper columnist, movie star, radio commentator, and professional speaker. Does that make him one of “Society’s Lottery Winners?”

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“(President) Roosevelt wants recovery to start at the bottom. In other words, by a system of high taxes, he wants business to help the little fellow to get started and get some work, and then pay business back by buying things when he’s at work. Business says, ‘Let everybody alone. Let business alone, and quit monkeying with us, and we’ll get everything going for you, and if we prosper, naturally the worker will prosper.’ That’s exactly what business says, and they’re justified from their angle in saying that. One wants recovery to start from the bottom, and the other wants it to start from the top. I don’t know which is right. I’ve never heard of anybody suggesting that they might start it in the middle, so I hereby make that suggestion. To start recovery halfway between the two, because it’s the middle class that does everything anyhow.” Radio, June 9, 1935


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