Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Insignificant Markers

So the Dow Jones reached 13,000 for the first time since 2008. Hooray, yes? Could there be a better example that the index that measures the (supposed) health of public companies in this country is completely meaningless in terms of how the American middle class fares?

This is an important point, because all the measures and indexes that you hear quoted on a given day in all of the mainstream media are meaningless? Productivity? Gone up. Unemployment? Down. Wall Street? Up. They are all numbers that are designed to make us feel good and mean absolutely nothing to most of us. How is your purchasing power now, compared to 10 years ago? How did your salary fare in the last ten years? How much of your income goes toward non-discretionary expenses every month? If you look at those numbers, they all probably look worse now than they did last year, five years ago, ten years ago. That's why you never really hear them mentioned in polite Washington conversation. On the upside? Access to contraception would be much, much more difficult if Republicans have there way. That'll fix your life, won't it?

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