“Grumpy New Year! There probably weren’t many Americans who started 2022 feeling celebratory. We’re going through yet another Covid wave, which is scary and wearying even though Omicron appears to pose a relatively low risk of serious illness if you’re fully vaccinated. Holiday travel was a mess, with the combination of the pandemic and severe weather causing thousands of flight cancellations.
Yet there’s a good chance that once time has passed and we’ve had a chance to regain perspective, we’ll consider 2021 to have been a very good year, at least in some ways. In particular, although nobody seemed to notice, it was a year of spectacular economic recovery — and one in which many dire warnings failed to come true.
Let me give you some background. Here’s the U.S. unemployment rate since 1979, the beginning of a nasty double-dip recession that was, at the time, the worst slump to hit America since the 1930s:”