Our problem, basically, is that we have a very distorted economy in the sense that there has been a significant recovery in a limited area of the economy amongst high-income individuals who have just had $800 billion added to their 401(k)s and are spending it and are carrying what consumption there is. Large banks, who are doing much better, and large corporations are in excellent shape. The rest of the economy, small business, small banks, and a very large part of the labor force is mired in tragic, long-term unemployment. The tension between the two is pulling the economy apart. The average of those two is what we are looking at (when we examine national economic statistics), but they are fundamentally two separate types of economy.
It's funny (or not) how often I've said much the same thing, along with facts and arguments to back them up, and had to endure pained looks and tired sighs from friends and family alike. “He's starting in on the economy and politics again. Run for it!” Who's gonna believe a fifty-something public school math teacher?
But, in walks the eighty-something, Yoda-like, former Fed Chairman, who is famous for having once said, 'I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said', and against all odds, he says something particularly clear. And all of a sudden, it's news you can believe in!
Yes, Greenspan actually said that first paragraph not me. Ooh, how does it feel to learn those were not my words, but the words of the “Maestro” himself? That is the feeling that comes when you realize that much of what you consider to be you using your own judgment is merely Pavlovian Conditioning.
Believe it or not, it was true before the Maestro said it. You just weren't thinking for yourself.