John Edwards was right: there are two Americas. No, I am not talking about the one with the hedge funds and the one with the girl with no coat. The real divide is between the political and economic, between those obsessed with politics and those determining our economic future.
In the former realm reside the politicians, political pundits, and the MSM reporters. In their world, Barack Obama is unblemished and riding “sky-high,” the stimulus was a political triumph, and the front page stories are the signing ceremony for the stimulus bill, Roland Burris’ potential perjury problems, and the prospects for new commerce and health and human services secretaries.
In the economic realm all of this is piffle. To recap: the ABC Consumer Comfort Index hit its lowest level in over 20 years this month and the Rasmussen Consumer Index also hit rock bottom (the day after the stimulus bill passed). Unemployment is at 7.6% and may well climb for at least another year. Even before yeaterday’s 300 point drop in the Dow, the markets had been diving. Since Election Day the Dow has plunged from 9600 to below 7600 (more than a 20% drop). And gold prices are soaring, a continued signal that confidence in the dollar and U.S. economy is waning.
In the print or TV political news the reporters ponder whether it was smart to have allowed Nancy Pelosi to draft the stimulus bill and whether the Republicans blew it by not climbing on the stimulus bandwagon. Watch the business news and the discussion is whether the markets have entirely lost faith in Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and if there is any place other than gold to park your money.