The Economy We Lost

A woman wearing a face mask walks in Times Square following the coronavirus outbreak in New York City, March 16, 2020. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
New census data should make us appreciate how awesome 2019 was.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T his year has been an awful one, and we’re all fully aware of that fact. But what too few of us appreciate is how good we had it beforehand: For all our whining, 2019 was a great time to be alive and living in the United States.

A fresh batch of reports from the Census Bureau demonstrates this nicely: COVID-19 destroyed everything it touched, including the bureau’s own operations, but last year American society was as rich as it had ever been.

Every spring, the bureau conducts what’s called the Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which collects especially detailed information about Americans’

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