Next, there is inflation. The inflation rate measures the strength of the dollar you hold today as compared to a year ago. The inflation rate is currently 3.66%. Over the past 50 years, the inflation rate has averaged about 4.2% . Inflation remains well within control. Yet, would you be surprised to read a story next month citing an X% jump in inflation over the last day, month? I wouldn’t be. (Ironically, the one thing about the economy that is alarming from a historical standpoint is our national debt, which gets some but not enough media coverage. We now owe $10.6 trillion and have become a debtor nation over the past several decades. We now depend on the goodwill and investments of outside countries, while we continue to spend more than we make).
Now, the skeptics reading this will undoudebtly point to other (I believe, far lesser) statistics that validate their gloomy view of the economy and the direction of the country. I ask the reader: if people are employed, are making good wages, can borrow inexpensively, hold a dollar that is worth largely what it was worth a year or five years ago, and live in a country where the value of goods and services is rising, tell me exactly where the crisis is? There is no doubt that the economy has slowed, but slowness does not equal death.
It is true that the financial markets are a mess (and the depreciation of the
value of equities is both scary and bad), but analysts typically go too far
in ascribing the fall of the financial markets with the fall of a whole economy.
The markets are an important component of the economy, but the markets are not
the totality of the economy. No one can say whether conditions will worsen in
the future. However, we have learned that the United States economy has been
tremendously resilient over the past 200 years and will probably remain so,
as long as the structural philosophies that it has been built upon are left
intact. Americans are hard-working and innovative people and the country will
be just fine.