The Clinton recession, I guess:
There has been zero net job creation since December 1999. No previous decade going back to the 1940s had job growth of less than 20 percent. Economic output rose at its slowest rate of any decade since the 1930s as well.
Middle-income households made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999 — and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009. The Aughts were the first decade of falling median incomes since figures were first compiled in the 1960s.
And the net worth of American households — the value of their houses, retirement funds and other assets minus debts — has also declined when adjusted for inflation, compared with sharp gains in every previous decade since data were initially collected in the 1950s.
The facts about net worth may be slightly misleading, as the article points out, since late 1999 was near the top of various investment markets and 2009 was near the bottom of the markets.
But it also strikes me that these figures themselves don’t tell the full story of how bad the decade was economically. As various others have pointed out, the real estate bubble — unlike the tech boom, for example — didn’t generate much in the way of useful new infrastructure of any kind. And, remarkably, this ten years of economic stagnation happened during a time of huge deficits generated by tax cuts that were supposed to stimulate the economy.
What a disaster.