I had a thought. If the stock market is a barometer, not a thermometer — it measures investor expectations about the future — what economic weather was it predicting in March of 2009?
With the Dow at 6,500, was it saying . . . “The future looks bright?”
That . . . “Savvy investors fear no Depression?”
Or was it saying . . . “OMFG! There really may be no way out of this one. The Dow could drop further still. To zero, even, as shareholders are wiped out and bondholders become the new owners. Boy, do we ever need a steady hand at the tiller. And even then — even with a Ronald Reagan! — it’s no sure bet we get through this without a full-out Depression.”
That, in fact, is what I think it was saying.
And here we are, with housing prices having rebounded a good bit (we don’t want them all the way back to top-of-the-bubble crazy levels any time soon, do we?) . . . with the $1.5 trillion deficit outgoing President Bush handed incoming President Obama having been slashed by two-thirds . . . with the economy much weaker than it would have been if the Republicans had not blocked The American Jobs Act (borrowing at record-low rates to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure) . . . but growing nonetheless . . . and with the Dow nearly triple that March, 2009, low.
And yes of course Fed chairs Ben Bernanke and now Janet Yellen deserve a load of credit, as Paul Volcker did back in the Reagan years — hurray for competence!
But when Mitch McConnell says — in prepared remarks, no less — that “By any standard, Barack Obama has been a disaster for our country,” does it not make you cry to think he could actually be reelected? (My money is on Alison.) And that if we don’t all lean into fighting the Koch brothers — simply by taking the time to vote in a midterm, unaccustomed as many of us are to doing so — Mitch McConnell could actually lead the Senate? And determine its agenda? And preside over its next Supreme Court confirmations?
What the market barometer seems to be telling me is that — despite unprecedented obstruction — this President has, in economic terms (whatever you may think about the “social” issues), been a tremendous success.
Would you cut and paste and send this to everyone you know? And ask them to do the same?
Because if those who’d like to see the economy kicked into high gear by revitalizing our infrastructure just vote 70-odd days from now in the midterm . . . unaccustomed as so many are to doing so . . . and if students who’d like to be able to refinance their federal loan interest rates just vote . . . and minimum wage workers who’d like a 40% raise just vote . . . and those who’d like to see universal background checks (including more than 70% of NRA members!) just vote . . . and those who believe the House climate-change subcommittee should not be chaired by a climate-denier just vote . . .and those who favor the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform package the Senate passed and the President hopes to sign just vote . . . and those who believe women, not the government, should be allowed to control their own health care decisions and that LGBT Americans should be accorded equal rights . . . if all these people — or even just an unusually high percentage of them — take the time to be sure they’re registered and then just vote*, the Republican death grip will be broken and we will be able to move forward. And today’s pricey Dow will prove a barometer indeed.
(Should the stock market have treated you well these last five years, use this link. But the main thing, if this message resonates with you, is to cut and paste and spread the word. Or just forward the link.)
*Democrat, because Democrats favor all these things. And if you can’t bring yourself to go that far, then express your horror at what the Party of Abe-and-Teddy-and-Ike has become by just staying home. One day, you will get your party back. It can’t come soon enough.
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