I have to admit that there are a few more things I just don't understand. For example, the U. S. unemployment rate is over 15%, yet the stock markets are near record highs. It's not just stocks. CNBC recently reported that banks are taking in record deposits -- an increase of over $2 trillion in the last six months -- and the savings rate among Americans recently hit 33% of income. I guess what we need is . . . more unemployment?
Also, I marvel in our age of super-fast electronics. You don't even have to go to the bank to deposit a check. You can do it on your phone. And when was the last time you even used a check anyway? Yet even with the high unemployment rate there is one job category that's expanding -- couriers and messengers. I thought couriers and messengers went out with the Civil War. But according to the U. S. Labor Department there are now 904,000 Americans employed as couriers and messengers, up from 859,000 in January. Go figure.
Something else I don't understand. In April there were roughly 30,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day. Victims were flooding hospitals. People were panicked. They stayed home as schools were shut down and stores and restaurants were closed. Roads were empty of traffic. Only essential places like supermarkets and pharmacies were allowed to stay open.
Now, today, new cases of Covid-19 are over 50,000 a day. Almost twice as many as April. Hospitals are still crowded; the death toll mounts. Yet the stores are open (yes, with restrictions). The restaurants are crowded. Traffic is back to normal. People are having parties. What am I missing?
Like I said, all this just adds to what I've already admitted in that previous post Things I Just Don't Understand.
The polls only bring more confusion. Something like 40% of Americans approve of our current president. About 55% disapprove. But Congress scores even worse. Only about 20% of Americans approve of Congress. Yet where do the political parties go to find new presidential candidates? To the one place even less popular than the presidency -- Congress (i.e Gabbard, Gillibrand, Booker, Harris, Warren, Sanders -- and remember, before that, Cruz, Rubio, etc.).
I admit I thought a few of those candidates were okay. But don't you think it would be better to look elsewhere? Doctors, dentists, engineers, teachers, firefighters, accountants and nurses all enjoy higher approval ratings than politicians.
Well, we did turn to a real-estate developer once. Didn't work out too well. Meanwhile, I couldn't find any data on approval ratings for former vice presidents. But I'd guess they do okay. After all, for the most part they're unobjectionable.
One last thing. When pollsters ask people if they approve of the direction of the country, only about 25% now say it's going in "the right direction." Over 60% say our country is on "the wrong track."
Say what you want about the now-uncool Bill Clinton, and George Bush the first before him, but according to the polls the last time a majority of Americans agreed the country was going in "the right direction" was back in the 1990s. Is there anything to be learned from that?