• Krugman on the current state of things, writing in the NYT:
“You may have heard about the good economic news. Labor force participation — the share of adults in today’s work force — is actually slightly higher than the Congressional Budget Office predicted before the pandemic. Measures of underlying inflation have fallen more or less back to the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target even though unemployment is near a 50-year low. Adjusted for inflation, most workers’ wages have gone up.
For some reason I’ve heard less about the crime news, but it’s also remarkably good. F.B.I. data shows that violent crime has subsided: It’s already back to 2019 levels and appears to be falling further. Homicides probably aren’t quite back to 2019 levels, but they’re plummeting.
None of this undoes the Covid death toll or the serious learning loss suffered by millions of students. But overall both our economy and our society are in far better shape at this point than most people would have predicted in the early days of the pandemic — or than most Americans are willing to admit.
For if America’s resilience in the face of the pandemic shock has been remarkable, so has the pessimism of the public.”