National Catholic Reporter

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The Good News & The Worry

This morning's unemployment report brought more good news as the unemployment rate dropped to 8.5 percent and the economy added a robust 200,000 new jobs, mor than analysts had anticipated. Of course, the economy is not out of the woods yet, and unemployment is still too high, but everything seems to be moving in the right direction. This is good news for the country and it is very good for President Obama's re-election prospects.

The worry is that the extent to which the economy becomes less of an issue, other issues, more susceptible to nastiness, will return. We will hear more of the "he apologizes for America" nonsense. We will hear more about the liberal courts. We will hear more about the "war on religion." And, the danger does not only come from the right. From the left, if there is less focus on the economy, there will be more focus on libertarian social policies and the "war on science."

The real economy can help or harm real people, so I am delighted it is improving. But, I confess I was looking forward to an election defined by a choice between Keynes and the Austrians.

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