Nothing has changed in the economy, in spite of some little bits of not-bad news leaking out into the blogosphere every once in a while. So why do we sense an improvement in the national mood?
No sooner does a good jobless report get released than do the radio commentators tear it down. And truly, the number of people officially looking for work is shrinking.
Does that mean they are discouraged, or that they are listening to Dave Ramsey’s constant counsels of starting your own business? We don’t know, but we’re still seeing many gorgeous new pickups on the highway as we head to Portland on a regular basis. So, somebody must be working somehow.
Americans seem to be getting more positive. Here’s what we think. We think people got tired of being angry and bitter; tired of being envious or jealous of people they think have more – what? – stuff, we guess; tired of saving, holding back, skimping. We think that December is everybody’s favorite month, what with Thanksgiving closing out November and then Christmas and Channukah coming up soon.
That means lots of presents, great food and drinks, cool parties, fun with families, winter sports… it goes on and on.
That’s not just IFO thinking this, either. That big jump in retail sales on Black Friday and Saturday and Monday tells us we are right. The extra traffic on the roads tells us that, too.
We recognize that some people don’t want to give up their deep grumpiness, but in general, we Americans are optimistic and happy and we don’t stay down for long. People coming to America from abroad always remarks about the startling (to them) fact that everyone is smiling!
Investment lesson: you can’t keep a good, free market economy down.