Sometimes you have to take out your political lenses and look at the actual statistics to get a true picture of the health of the American economy. Right now, those statistics are saying a modest cyclical rebound following a very deep downturn could actually be turning into a full-fledged, V-shaped, recovery boom between now and year-end.
I’m aiming this thought especially at many of my conservative friends who seem to be trashing the improving economic outlook -- largely, it would appear, to discredit the Obama administration.
Don’t do it folks. It’s a mistake. The numbers are the numbers. And prosperity is a welcome development for a nation that has suffered mightily.
Credibility is at issue here. Conservative credibility. Capitalist credibility.
Now, I have written extensively about the tax-and-regulatory threats of the Obamanomics big-government assault. But most of that is in the future. The current reality is that a strong rebound in corporate profits (the greatest and truest stimulus of all), ultra-easy money from the Fed, and some small stimuli from government spending are working to generate a stronger-than-expected recovery in a basically free-market economy that is a lot more resilient than capitalist critics think.
Rather than blow their credibility over a cyclical rebound that is backed by the statistics, free-market conservatives should tell it like it is.
Let’s begin with the March employment numbers recently released by the Labor Department. Those numbers were solid. People say small businesses are getting killed by taxes and regulations from Washington, but the reality is that the small-business household employment survey has produced 1.1 million new jobs in the first quarter of 2010, or 371,000 per month. If that continues, the unemployment rate will drop significantly.
Additionally, the corporate payroll number for March increased by 224,000 -- not 162,000 as some claim -- with the prior two months being revised up by 62,000. And this is being led by private-sector job creation.
And according to just-released data, retail chain-store sales for the year ending in March were up a blowout 10 percent. Ten percent. That’s a V-shaped recovery. And the real-time ISM purchasing-managers reports for manufacturing and services indicate that the economy in the next few quarters could be much, much stronger than the consensus expects -- maybe 5 to 6 percent. Another V-shaped recovery.