Even so, the illusion of prosperity seems likely to persist, especially with the stock market's relentless rally, now entering its 14th month, to distract and disconnect us from the real economic world. A comment posted in the Rick's Picks forum yesterday:
"The cognitive dissonance about the land is now both pervasive and immense. The number of unemployed, underemployed, and otherwise financially and economically imperiled has ratcheted up over the last few years, and though the economic deterioration that began in earnest in early 2008 seems to have, at least by some modestly credible measures, abated somewhat in the last few months, the new normal, such as it is, is distinctly less healthy, less favorable to most, than it was.
"And yet, despite the immutable facts of a reduction in the standard of living for so many, we keep hearing talk of recovery—which is, by definition, absurd, since a recovery assumes the reclamation of a prior state. The only prior state that has been recovered is the one that Wall Street was operating in before the financial world, as we knew it, ended in a thunderous calamity. In fact, even that picture isn't entirely accurate since Wall Street has now, de facto, if not de jure, captured at least two, if not all three, branches comprising the Federal government. . ."