In recent weeks some folks have started voicing concerns about the nascent economic recovery. I am not one of them. I believe that the economy is bouncing back and that the recovery is going to be robust. Yes, unemployment is still on the rise, and indebted consumers are keeping their money in their wallets, but I see signs of economic recovery virtually everywhere I look.
At least here, in Silicon Valley, companies are beginning to hire again. When I talk to customers and vendors and ask how business is going, people tell me that they are seeing a nice up tick in sales. Our realtor says that the market for sub-million dollar houses is positively booming (this is the San Francisco Bay Area. In decent neighborhoods houses under $1M are cheap). Life is flowing back into the system.
Considering the economic near death experience we lived through in the past year, this is a miracle. It's also no surprise that there is still a lot of economic pain. However, the bottom line is that the economy is in better shape than we have any right to expect it to be.
Credit for the economic recovery belongs with the government. Yes. I said it. Ouch. Both the Bush administration and the Obama administration have done an outstanding job (so far) of staunching the bleeding and restoring confidence in the markets. There are many Monday morning quarterbacks out there criticizing each administration's policy decisions, but given the speed with which things collapsed, the tremendous uncertainty involved and the unprecedented magnitude of these events, I think that our policy makers deserve rare praise.
Let's hope things continue to improve.
Unfortunately, in the longer term, deficits, inflation and a decline in the value of the Dollar all threaten the US economy. Let's hope our leaders have the vision and fortitude to avert that future economic disaster in waiting. Sadly, I think that this will be tougher to accomplish.
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