Americans’ Grim Views of the Decent U.S. Economy Are Perfectly Understandable

A shopper makes her way through a grocery store on July, 2023, in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Dear Capitolisters,

As readers of this newsletter surely know by now, I’m a bit of an economic optimist (and that’s a bit of an understatement). If you gave me $100 and asked me to bet on the long-term direction of the U.S. economy using almost any national metric, I’d bet $90 on “upward” and then go invest the rest in VOO or ITOT (if you know you know). Even right now, I think the post-pandemic U.S. and global economies, while still in their perpetually confused state, will avoid the worst-case scenarios discussed in January. We might even avoid a recession in the U.S. altogether.

That said, I’ve been amazed, confused, and frustrated to watch various economists and pundits look upon Americans’ continued displeasure with the U.S. economic situation and act as if it’s all a media creation or just dumb/partisan square-staters projecting their political preferences upon the obviously great Biden economy. There are plenty of good, sane—though perhaps not economically sound—reasons for lots of Americans to dislike both the U.S. economy today and the president’s claims to the contrary.

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