I decided to hold off on this post mostly due to laziness, but also because writing it while the stock market was going down in the last week or so might seem a bit justifying Obama or whatever. But now today that the Dow went up 619.07 mostly meaningless to me points, the post stands on it’s own. And that is why the fuck were people claiming a week’s worth of bad stock market news was some how reflective of Obama’s handling of the economy, of some sort of shade of capitalism more generally, or of stories about panic!!!!!!! throughout the land?
The truth is that Obama is handling the economy fine, and on the granular level doesn’t have much to do one way or the other with the stock market going down in a given day or week, or week and change. Capitalism will have its ups and downs but it’s here for a long time. And stories about panic!!!!!!!!!!!!!! are pretty boring absent actual panic.
Of course, people’s retirement accounts are often tied up with the market. I know mine are. But I’m not retiring for several decades. So unless you’re planning on retiring this month, these fluctuations will probably be something you’ll be able to ride out. While it was bad for some people, for the majority, it wasn’t anything unless you panic.
Maybe the issue is that the Dow — or the market more generally — is the only snapshot of the economy we have. However flawed it is, it’s something to say what the economy did today. Or this week. Or whatever short amount of time. But maybe we don’t need that. Maybe we don’t have a good measure of the economy in such short bursts because that’s not a good way to think of the economy.