We've finally emerged from the crash of 2008. We've had 58 consecutive quarters of job growth. Unemployment is declining. Productivity is up. Yet, most Americans aren't exactly high-fiving each other. Never mind the state of the union; the state of their households isn't great.
There are many positive signs in the US. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the 3rd quarter was up 5% on an annualized basis compared to the 2nd quarter (adjusted for inflation).
Free, high-quality public higher education. Expanded apprenticeship programs. Jobs that pay living wages. Workplaces that are free of discrimination. Strong union rights. Don't those sound great?
All in all, ever since his forceful response to the midterm elections, Obama seems to be getting more and more popular. In absolute numbers, of course, Obama still has a long way to go.
Got any good lawyer jokes? Here's one, "What do you call a law school graduate?" Sadly, the answer is increasingly becoming: "Unemployed."
Well, here we are at the start of 2015, and the unemployment rate has declined to 5.6 percent. Over the course of 58 consecutive months, the Obama economy has created 11.2 million private sector jobs.
Most of the discussion assumes that inequality is something that happened. By contrast, the more obvious story is that inequality is something that was done; it was the result of policies that had the effect of redistributing income upward.
The jobs report Friday set off cheering: a quarter million positions added in December; unemployment declining to 5.6 percent. This good news arrived amid a booming stock market and a GDP report showing the strongest growth in 11 years. It's all so very jolly, except for one looming factor: wages.
Je suis Charlie Hebdo. In fact, let's go even further: Nous sommes Charlie Hebdo. Because we are all Charlie, this week. However, most of the American media cravenly allowed the terrorists to dictate their editorial policy this week, which is truly disappointing.
Today's jobs report shows a labor market that strengthened significantly in 2014, but one that still bears scars from the Great Recession and subsequent federal budget cuts and other austerity policies that perpetuated a severe jobs slump even as the economy and business profits began to recover.
When the GOP trumpets "new jobs," it's typically a ploy to divert gullible Americans from the true Republican agenda: lining the pockets of the rich.
Unfortunately, you'll be competing with many to finally get back into the workplace. Wanting a new job -- even trying hard to secure one -- just isn't enough anymore. You need to set yourself apart from the pack of hungry applicants.
The situation is dire. By placing moral judgment on the impoverished, we do everyone a disservice. We fail to harvest the potential of so many bright and talented people in this country. And by doing so, we fail to thrive as a nation. It is imperative that we change the dialogue.
Saving money is this year's most popular financial resolution, with more than 37 percent of Americans prioritizing it over paying down debt, curbing their spending, investing and even getting a raise.
The 114th Congress has an opportunity to fundamentally shift American life. To do so, though, they must overcome cynical calculations that have become too common when it comes to young people and politics.
Democrats need to point out that they're turning over to the new Republican Congress an economy that is doing better than at any time in the past six years. They need to lay this down as a benchmark that they can later point to, no matter what happens. Republicans are already chomping at the bit to claim all that credit for themselves.