The Corner

Two Forces at Work in the U.S., One Good and One Bad

We have two strong forces pulling on the American economy — one bad, one good. The bad force is the massive government spending and the massive debt that is siphoning U. S. capital, destroying wealth, and chasing entrepreneurs into hiding. That trend is real, ongoing, and dangerous; American stocks have been shaken badly in the last week by the rising debt and the unwillingness of many politicians to stop the damage.

The second and more positive force is the ability of many American corporations to grow and earn profits in spite of the government spending. Almost unnoticed in the flurry of bad news (about job-creation, debt, possible tax hikes, and high unemployment) are the strong earnings of many large U. S. corporations. Ipads fly out the doors at thousands of Apple stores nationwide. Google continues to dominate. Eaton, Emerson, DuPont, Dow, and Lockheed-Martin are just a few of the corporations that are making fine products and selling them profitably. True, they are often expanding overseas, and they are doing more with leaner staffs, but the strong earnings of many U. S. industrial giants have been pulling the stock market upward and giving hope to those who believe America can come back and — with sound fiscal policy — be the beacon of liberty and hope to the world once again.

— Burton Folsom is a professor of history at Hillsdale College and author of New Deal or Raw Deal? He blogs at

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