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A V-shaped recovery in trade

Here are two ways of looking at U.S. imports and exports, and to my eye both show that trade has experienced a V-shaped recovery. We still have not recovered fully, of course, but as of last March, exports were only 10% below their 2008 high. At the rate they're growing (exports up at a 20% annualized pace over the past six months), we'll reach new high ground by October. The trade sector of the economy will not have grown for roughly two years; that is the price we will pay for the housing and financial debacle that ensued. Progress will have been sidelined, living standards will not have risen as much as they otherwise could have. But life will go on and the economy will keep growing. And with any luck, we'll elect some people in November who will make it their business to shrink our bloated government, which was ultimately the cause of the slump.

On that latter point, I can't help but give a plug to Scott Walker, a young, rising star in the Republican firmament. His "Brown Bag" pitch is sure to catch on.

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