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Whose Economy Is It Anyway?

“Everyone has a general notion of what The Economy is,” writes Joel Achenbach in today’s Washington Post. “It’s American business. It’s the gross national product. Wages. The unemployment rate. Housing starts. Durable goods. Not-so-durable goods. It’s all these things and many more, mixed together, a seething, frothing brew of human activity, somehow reduced, through the miracle of modern partisanship, into a political issue.”

“Everyone has a general notion of what The Economy is,” writes Joel Achenbach in today’s Washington Post.

“It’s American business. It’s the gross national product. Wages. The unemployment rate. Housing starts. Durable goods. Not-so-durable goods. It’s all these things and many more, mixed together, a seething, frothing brew of human activity, somehow reduced, through the miracle of modern partisanship, into a political issue.”

How do you put your finger on something so amorphous? How do you get your arms around something so vast? If you’re Achenbach, you hit the street with two economists — one conservative, one liberal — and translate everyday life into basic economics. Like a car accident, where a little misery, it turns out, is good for the GDP.

How you see the economy, of course, depends on where you fall on the food chain. What are your personal economic indicators?

About the author

Chuck Salter is a senior editor at Fast Company and a longtime award-winning feature writer for the magazine. In addition to his print, online and video stories, he performs live reported narratives at various conferences, and he edited the Fast Company anthologies Breakthrough Leadership, Hacking Hollywood, and #Unplug.

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