In anticipating the President’s State of the Union speech, I asked myself what I consider it to be. I’m sorry to say that the first thing that came to mind was the Ogden Nash quote, “I find it very difficult to enthuse over the current news.”
In my decades of trying to keep track of our economy, I’ve been an optimist. My optimism was stoked by our transformation in the 1980’s, when, for a while, we worried about being left in the dust by Japan and joked that we would all have to learn to speak Japanese. That turned out to be a false alarm, and not entirely because of Japanese missteps.