Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.


What’s Up With the Dow?

The Dow-Jones Industrial Average opens today in near-record territory, which seems pretty amazing when you consider the mood of the country and the news of the world: Ebola and AIDS ravage much of Africa. Douglas McAuthur McCain became the first American to die fighting for the ISIS caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Russian troops are in Ukraine, Israeli tanks are in Gaza, California is in a state of emergency, and the Dow keeps going up. If that’s a sign of hope amid the rubble, it seems lost on most Americans, who are in a national funk: 60% believe America is in decline; 71% think we're on the wrong track; 76% think their children will be poorer than their parents. Unemployment is worse than we thought. Yet yesterday the S&P 500 closed above $2,000 for the first time ever.

Am I missing something? Does the surging market represent underlying optimism or complete insanity? Do those who insist America is finished or the world is ending believe they can take it with them?

Naturally, we need someone to blame for all these horrors, and this week, by chance, is “National Impeach Obama Week.” Charges include:

● “Governing by dictatorial fiat”

● “Waging illegal wars”

● “Supporting Al Qaeda and other Jihadist terrorists”

● “Forgery of identification documents”

● “Overall radical and subversive anti-American background”

The president may be ruining America, but not the markets. When Obama entered office, the Dow stood at 7,949 (down from 10,588 at the start of the Bush presidency). Today it opens at 17,107.

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