(NY TIMES) Eduardo Porter,Â May 30, 2018Â â When I wrote my first Economic Scene column six years ago, the unemployment rate languished at 8.2 percent as the job market painfully recovered from the jolt of the Great Recession. By last month, only 3.9 percent of working-age Americans who sought a job didnât have one.
You are welcome.
Iâm kidding, of course. How could anybody claim credit for the performance of something as vast and complex as the American labor market? My columns probably didnât have anything to do with the doubling of the Standard & Poorâs 500-stock index, either, or even with the sixfold rise in digital-only subscriptions to The New York Times.
To the contrary, as I write what will be the last column of my tenure, I canât help but acknowledge how little purchase my writing has had on the substance of reality. In particular, it has had no discernible effect on what one might call Americaâs fundamental paradox.
The United States is one of the richest, most technologically advanced nations in the history of humanity. And yet it accepts â proudly defends, even â a degree of social dysfunction that would be intolerable in any other rich society.