If the economy is improving, why does it feel so bad? Has anyone actually met a “GDP”? Ever snuggled up with a productivity index, or nuzzled with “increased inventories”. Do any of these “signs of improvement” have children or grandparents? On the other hand, unemployment is likely to stay above 10% overall for some time in 2010, and in the inner cities, the levels are at Great Depression levels. In human terms, the emotional and physical affects are devastating. Families are being pulled apart by the strain. The Labor Department seems unable or unwilling to measure the number of increased divorces, suicides, psychiatric admissions, accidents, or homeless persons as a measure of the so-called “recovery”.

It is true that employment is a “lagged” measure of recovery, but when does a “lag” become an anchor or vortex? I think the truth is that this “recovery” is suspect and tentative because money is still frozen, and businesses are simply unable to expand without capital infusions. There is no static state. If there is no access to capital, more people will be laid off.
So, the next time you meet one of your unemployed friends (and we all now have several), don’t offer him or her the happy news that Gross Domestic Product was up 2.8% in the 3rd Quarter of 2009.