Amid some promising signs -- which are turning the heads of even some bears -- structural unemployment continues to be painful as the ranks of the long-term jobless keep swelling. This is a distinction that should be far more central to government policy than it currently is.
If stocks are rising, that should mean the economy is improving. Yet even though the S&P 500 has soared 80% from its March 2009 lows, 70% of Americans don't believe the recession is over. Which side has a firmer grasp of reality?