Learning from the Covid economy
Personal income went up and poverty declined, even as GDP collapsed
COVID-19 hammered the world economy in general, and the American economy suffered as part of that. Lots of stuff was shut down for public health reasons. And even when people were allowed to do things, they often didn’t. Indoor dining has been allowed in D.C. for the majority of the past year, but I haven’t dined indoors, and I’m not the only abstainer — people I’ve spoken to in the industry say even since reopening, it’s been a hellish time for their businesses since the customers just aren’t there.
The same is true for travel. You’re allowed to fly on airplanes. People do it. I went to Austin for Joe Rogan. But there are just way fewer flights than there used to be — not a lot of people traveling.
Yet in a fascinating way, when you dig into the details, things are better than you might think. Household net worth is up thanks to a booming stock market and a rise in home prices. Disposable income is up. Savings are up. Poverty is down.
Not because “the economy” isn’t damaged, but beca…