In reponse to yesterday’s column, Dr. Jim A. writes: “You are getting way too political. Get back to investing and money management issues, which I thought was the purpose of the website.”

The purpose of the website is anybody’s guess, but the purpose of yesterday’s column (which I was thinking of making more explicit today even before receiving Jim’s e-mail) was to say, in effect . . .

Look. It’s great the war is going relatively well. (There is much to criticize about how we got into this war; but anyone would have to admit it could have gone much worse than it has so far, and we are all grateful for that.) But when we win it and the market jumps, as it may, don’t get suckered into thinking the good old days are back. The market, in my view, is not cheap here, and the economic prospects are not terribly good.

I hope I’m wrong. But massive budget deficits of the type described yesterday are not the stuff of long-term prosperity. (Modest budget deficits, that grow the national debt at a slower rate than the economy as a whole, are not necessarily bad. So long as the debt grows more slowly than GDP, it shrinks relative to the economy as a whole.) So the outlook for the stock market over the next few years is not terribly bright, either.

 

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