Center for American Progress Sees Increased Holiday Spending as Evidence that Economic Recovery Hasn’t Happened

The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman needs a logic lesson. Here’s the lead from his December 30 column, which the left-wing Center for American Progress crowed about in its January 5 daily missive of mischief, the Progress Report: “It was a merry Christmas for Sharper Image and Neiman Marcus, which reported big sales increases over last year’s holiday season. It was considerably less cheery at Wal-Mart and other low-priced chains. We don’t know the final sales figures yet, but it’s clear that high-end stores did very well, while stores catering to middle- and low-income families achieved only modest gains. Based on these reports, you may be tempted to speculate that the economic recovery is an exclusive party, and most people weren’t invited. You’d be right.”

No, if you drew his conclusion from that scant amount of information, you’d need a logic lesson, because low sales figures at discount stores may mean their usual shoppers are shopping less — or it may simply mean that they are shopping elsewhere.

Besides, note the word “gains.” Every store chain Krugman mentioned posted gains — which the Center for American Progress (somewhat desperately) claims is proof that “so far the economic recovery hasn’t extended to average employees.”

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