Two out of three Americans think that we are in a recession if not a depression despite the fact that the economy continued to grow slowly (1%) in the first quarter of 2008, having had positive growth for every quarter in the past six years. Unemployment is under 6%, a level that was at one time viewed as “full employment”. Without housing and auto manufacturing, the economy grew at over 4% over the past year, something that would generally we would be applauding.
When Gallup recently asked Americans how long they thought that it would take for the USA Economy to recover, 20% thought that it would take more than 5 years! Half thought that it would take over 2 years!
My, but we are a pessimistic lot! Economies and capitalism constantly climbs a wall of worry. In the 60s we fretted over robotics hurting our economy; in the 70s it was OPEC’s lock on high oil prices; in the 80s it was Japan buying up USA real estate; the 90s brought NAFTA’s “giant sucking sound” and today it’s housing, oil, food, etc.
From everything that I’m seeing around the country, this downturn will be swift and shallow. It is too bad that so many don’t have more optimism about the U. S. economy.