John Hinderaker at Power Line, pushing back against the “things are bad and only getting worse” storyline:
We have finally entered (I think) what must be history’s longest- and most eagerly-awaited recession. News reports and commentary have been so relentlessly negative for so long that it is easy to lose sight of the actual performance of the economy. This happened again this week, with universally-gloomy predictions for “black Friday,” the opening of the Christmas shopping season. Yesterday morning, the Boston Globe, to cite one of many examples, headlined “Black Friday takes a hit from the economy” and highlighted its pessimistic account with the National Retail Federation’s prediction of an 11 percent drop in Black Friday shoppers.
In fact, though, most people’s incomes are no worse today than they were a year ago, notwithstanding daily references to “hard times” and casual talk about a possible depression. That reality was reflected in what actually happened yesterday: a 3 percent increase over last year’s “black Friday” sales, which itself represented a fat 8 percent rise over 2006.
Hinderaker illustrates the argument with a photo from shoppers lined up before a Minneapolis Best Buy.
And no, all is not rosy, he says, “But the hysterical terms in which the economy is discussed are unwarranted and unhelpful.”
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