Why are so many Americans feeling squeezed economically even as the economy expands at an accelerating pace?
Last month set a new record for sustained job creation: 52 straight months of added jobs, with a robust 288,000 more jobs in June and more than 9 million jobs created since February 2010. The unemployment rate is down to 6.1 percent, and the number of long-term unemployed has been slashed, from about 5 million people to about 3 million.
The stock market is soaring, reaching a record high on July 3. The Dow Jones industrial average passed 17,000 — amazing compared with its Great Recession low of 6,627 in March 2009, just weeks after President Barack Obama took office.
So what’s missing? Why did Obama acknowledge in a television interview last week that the “underlying trend for middle class families, that they don’t feel, no matter how hard they work, they’re able to get ahead in the same way that their parents were able to get ahead.”
The answer lies in a very large sum of missing money — about $6.6 trillion by my count — over the first 12 years of this century. That’s as much money as everyone in the United States made from New Year’s Day 2012 through late September of that year. It may also explain Obama’s low approval ratings.
How could such a gigantic sum go missing and not get noticed?
Links and such in DKJ’s post.