In theory an extraordinary bull market should be making Americans feel far wealthier than they felt two years ago. But in reality, the vast majority of Americans don't feel wealthier because they hold few if any shares of stock.
The problem with paying political ransom is that when you pay it once, you're almost begging to pay it again. And that's exactly the pickle the Obama administration and Democrats are finding themselves in.
MONEY has always been the most corrupting influence in our politics, a fact that is now on full display in Republican-controlled state houses across the midwest that are voting against public employees' right to collective bargaining.
On our current trajectory, the unemployment rate will continue to decline. But so will the pay and benefits of most Americans. The real story isn't about jobs, it's about the ever decreasing standard of living for the middle class.
The truth that Obama must tell the American people is that government spending has absolutely nothing to do with high unemployment, declining wages, falling home prices, and all the other travesties that continue to haunt most Americans.
America is the richest nation in the world, and we've never been richer. There's no reason for us to turn on our teachers, our unionized workers, our poor and needy, and our elderly. The notion that we can no longer afford it is claptrap.
It will soon become evident to most Americans that the only way to reduce the budget deficit, preserve programs deemed essential by the middle class, and not raise taxes on the middle, is to tax the top.
The reason we have continued sky-high unemployment has nothing to do with excessive regulation. There was no sudden outpouring of federal regulation in 2007 before the economy tanked and millions lost their jobs.
At a time when corporate profits are through the roof, the Dow is flirting with 12,000, Wall Street paychecks are fat again, and big corporations are sitting on more than $1 trillion in cash, you'd expect jobs be coming back. But you'd be wrong.
Democrats want to hear that America's trade problems are caused by exploitative capitalism. But the problem is that corporate pursuit of profit has been decoupled from the success of the economy as a whole.
The president's failure to address the decoupling of American corporate profits from American jobs makes reviving the nation's "competitiveness" seem somewhat beside the point but also cedes to Republicans the dominant narrative.
In the global economy, the only "asset" that's unique to any nation -- and that determines its living standard -- is the people who comprise it. Hopefully the president will touch on this Tuesday night.
It's politically important for President Obama to avoid the moniker of being "anti-business." But the president must not be seduced into believing that the well-being of American business is synonymous with the well-being of Americans.
China is eating our lunch. Why? It has a national economic strategy designed to create more and better jobs. We have global corporations designed to make money for shareholders, regardless of where they reside.
The GOP version of class warfare is to pit private-sector middle and low income workers against public servants. They'd rather set average working people against one another than have Americans see who's really raking it all in.
Republicans are telling Americans a big lie, and Obama and the Democrats are letting them. The Big Lie is that our economic problems are due to a government that's too large, and therefore the solution is to shrink it.