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Maybe the Sky Isn't Falling | The Nation

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The Notion

Unfiltered takes on politics, ideas and culture from Nation editors and contributors.

Maybe the Sky Isn't Falling

There has been a discernible shift in the economic news.

Wall Street rallied for several days. Developers are building homes again. Food prices have fallen. The New York Times is calling current economic data a "balm." This morning I even got a phone call from a political reporter who despite newspaper layoffs around the country, was lured by low interest rates into buying a new car.

The Federal Government is making confidence-boosting, citizen-regarding choices. The IRS is planning a tax break for those duped by Madoff. President Obama, like a smart quarterback, responded quickly and decisively to the AIG bonus scandal by dispatching Geithener to behave as a fullback, blocking the corporate executives from misspending taxpayer money.

Dark economic clouds still crowd our fiscal skies but there is undoubtedly a little hint of blue making itself visible. Hope may be more than a campaign slogan, it might just be spendable currency in tough times.

So I am wondering if there is still a market for cynicism. What will all the pundits (including me) do if America proves more resilient than any of us imagined? What if we bounce back in significant and meaningful ways in time for the 2010 midterm elections? What if this is not an economic crisis that rivals the Great Depression, but just the death rattle of wretched two-term presidential mismanagement? What will the pundits do with the good economic news?

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