CNNMoney.com found someone who seems to agree with us. A recent post quotes Rob Arnott of Research Affiliates, a Newport Beach, Calif., investment management firm with some $50 billion under management.
He argues in his monthly newsletter that, contrary to popular belief, the roots of our current malaise predate the financial crisis – and not by a little bit.
Arnott says the U.S. economy actually went off the rails more than a decade ago. What's more, many of us have failed to realize it because the most widely watched economic indicator, gross domestic product, actually tracks consumption, irresponsible or otherwise, rather than real wealth generation...
We are, in a word, considerably poorer than we imagine – something politicians of all stripes should, but probably won't, consider as they grapple with our massive deficit.
"GDP that stems from new debt — mainly deficit spending — is phony: it is debt-financed consumption, not prosperity," Arnott writes.Yup.