The Deceptive American Comeback
The American economy isn’t back, says Robert Reich. While Wall Street’s bull market is making America’s rich even richer, most Americans continue to be mired in the housing crisis.
Put your ear to the ground and you can almost hear the bulls stampeding. The Dow closed above 12,000 Tuesday for the first time since June 2008. ... It’s simply wonderful, especially if you’re among the richest 1 percent of Americans who own more than half of all the shares of stock traded on Wall Street. But most Americans own a tiny sliver of the stock market, even including stocks in their 401(k) plans. What do most Americans own? To the extent they have any significant assets at all, it’s their homes. And the really big story right now—in terms of the lives of most Americans, and the effects on the US economy—isn’t Wall Street’s bull market. It’s Main Street’s bear housing market.