As I detailed in early July, we are “better off than we were four years ago” in many, many ways. For instance, energy production of all types — huge increases in oil, natural gas, wind and solar — except for coal (which is being killed by cheap natural gas) is way up, and oil imports are down. Also, instead of LOSING hundreds of thousands of jobs per month, as we were in the summer of 2008, we’ve been GAINING about 150,000 jobs per month on average this year. The stock market is way, way up from its low points towards the end of the Bush Reign of Error, the U.S. auto industry’s back in business, Osama bin Laden’s dead (and al Qaeda decimated), we’re out of Iraq and on the way out of Afghanistan, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is history, and we made history with health care reform that means among many other advantages that your coverage can’t be denied because you have a pre-existing condition. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that we’re far, far better off than we were four years ago. Not even close.
Now, just in the past few days, there are several more pieces of evidence that the economy’s well on the road to recovery.
1. Home Prices Climb as Supply Dwindles (“Home prices rose by their largest percentage in at least seven years during the second quarter”)
2. U.S. job openings highest in 4 years (“U.S. employers posted the most job openings in four years in June, a positive sign that hiring may pick up.”)
3. Unemployment claims fall to 361,000; trade deifict drops (“The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell by 6,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 361,000, a level consistent with modest gains in hiring.”)
Of course, this is all good news, and of course all of us as Americans should be cheering it on, just like we’d cheer on our Olympic athletes. But Republicans? You know they’re not happy, as they’ve been rooting for economic failure, and actively working for President Obama to “fail,” for almost 4 years now. So sad, boo freakin’ hoo.