Do you remember what you were doing in June 2009 - a little more than two years ago? If you were like me, you were still worried about the economy - looking for some relief. But economists, go figure, actually believe that is the very moment when we left the great recession behind.
Most of us still don't believe the economy has made a big change for the better - according to a recent Gallup poll: 8 in 10 Americans say we're still in recession. And our household incomes tell the same story.
A study by two former Census Bureau officials say these incomes fell more in the two years following the end of recession than during the downturn itself.
They said inflation-adjusted income fell more than six and a half percent - to under $50,000 between June 2009 and June of this year.
During the recession - starting in December 2007 - household incomes fell less than half that! Why the significant drop?
The reports points to two big reasons. First: The hourly pay of employed people has failed to keep up with inflation. Meaning: As the cost of gas and food and other necessities rise, incomes have remained mostly stagnate.
Also: Many who lost their jobs during the recession are taking pay cuts just to get hired again.
One Princeton economist found - those who lost jobs and found work again are making on average 7.5% less now than with their old jobs.
It's no wonder we're feeling a growing anxiety about the economy. Some say Americans aren't capable of the kinds of austerity and self sacrifice that are necessary to turn the economy around.
Truth is we have already sacrificed. What's missing is leadership - President Obama has called for a jobs program that will cost $200,000 per job to implement.
Let's get some real experts in who can come up with real programs that will make a real change.