Dazed From the Roller Coaster

Could it be that the U.S. economy is so smoking hot that we don't need to worry about higher taxes for all? Maybe the defense budget doesn't matter as much because everyone sees the profligate nature of the Pentagon, with its ridiculously expensive fighter planes. Maybe the employment benefits don't mean much because people are working off the books anyway. Maybe, with all the little charities and state programs out there that can make up for the federal dollars, we are wrong to be so fretful. Maybe it's all made up by the media -- and, if we didn't know any better, we'd see the changes as mild and realize the whole thing is overblown.

Look, if you are not wondering about these sorts of things, I think you must be brain-dead. Thursday's half-decent rally, coming in the face of horrendous retail numbers and a lack of progress in the talks, makes us feel that the whole thing doesn't matter. Either that or, after the debt downgrade, the public has just become conditioned to believe the consequences aren't meaningful, or that they will at last be avoided. Or, at least, they've been made to feel it has nothing to do with the stock market -- no more than how much the now-evident China expansion has to do with the Chinese stock market....188 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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