Ask the Readers: Now, is the Economy Back on Track?

by Jason Unger

In late August, we asked you if you thought the economy was back on track.

Overwhelmingly, you thought that it was leveling off, but not yet back on track. And 30% said that it was still getting worse, including Phil, who posted this comment:

Absolutely getting worse. Spending for the sake of spending does not increase $ velocity. The deficit bill will come due at some point, which will lead to hyper-inflation and a de-valuing of the dollar. We havent solved our economic problems one bit since last year, we have just effectively delayed the inevitable.

Now, 3 months later, much of the TARP money has been re-paid, the stock market has been steady, if not growing a bit, and the “most accurate forecaster” is predicting a surge in the economy in 2010.

But, unemployment is still in the double digits and the government is still spending a ton of money it doesn’t have (or needs to raise).

So, I want to know if your impression has changed: now, is the economy back on track?

Answer the poll below and then let me know why in a comment.

[poll id=”29″]

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Bucksome December 29, 2009 at 5:54 pm

Unemployment has already started nudging down here in California (one of the highest rates in the country). I think we’re back on a slow track to full recovery.

My hope is that it is not all for naught and that lessons have been learned…by all of us.

Jason Unger December 30, 2009 at 10:50 am

@Bucksome I certainly agree about the lessons learned. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the banks are going to see the light anytime soon, and the gov’t won’t stop helping them.

Check out this article from Bloomberg, where the entire “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” bill is actually read:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a48c8UpUMxKQ

Phil December 30, 2009 at 11:05 am

Still say NO. The stock market is not a good measure for economic growth, rather it is a good measure for sentiment. GDP is also heavily influenced by the market. Goods produced, savings, import/export, etc. are real and tangible economic indicators, and things continue to get worse due to short-sighted policies at the treasury and fed. Further, we are at risk to another wave of a significant real estate downturn, as revelations that existing home sales data has included double dipping for foreclosed homes and the unclaimed losses in commercial real estate. Plus, there are still plenty of losses on the books. Dont be fooled by the coming rising stock and home prices – they will be largely due to inflation the de-valuing the dollar. We are NOT out of the woods.

Jason Unger December 30, 2009 at 11:14 am

@ Phil Good point about the market. I’ve always thought it a bit ridiculous that we’re investing money into how people feel about the economy, not how it’s actually doing. But that’s a separate issue.

I hadn’t heard about the double dipping of foreclosed homes. I’ll have to find a link…

Wojciech Kulicki January 7, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Just from anecdotal evidence and personal observations, it would seem that commerce is definitely increasing and we will start re-hiring soon. I think we’re still leveling off, but the time to get better will be here soon.

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