It’s understandable that the president wants to use the markets as a measure of the economy’s health, even as unemployment hovers at 8.4 percent and many businesses remain crippled. Since the start of the year, the S&P 500 — even following the recent drop — is up 2.5 percent, and the Dow is down a mere 4 percent. If stocks were the sole measure of economic health, you might think the economy was on the mend, perhaps even poised for a breakout.
The president and his supporters are ignoring what former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen forcefully explained recently: “The stock market isn’t the economy. The economy is production and jobs, and there are shortfalls in virtually every sector.” How have stocks remained so resilient in the face of such a severe shock? In part, it’s because of inequality. Stocks are overwhelmingly owned by the top 1 percent, which means