The Conference Board of New York digested a passel of economic indicators for January and got a small uptick
-- 0.4 percent -- in the financial health of the nation, despite lousy employment and other numbers. They credit a boost in the "real money supply," attributable to recent federal action. In David Brooks
' world, the good news comes from a Pew study
that shows Americans "still have a clear vision of the good life": they're attracted to cities, mostly Western and with spacious suburbs, which "offer the dream, so characteristic on this continent, of having it all: the machine and the garden," and are places where "you can imagine yourself with a stuffed garage -- filled with skis, kayaks, soccer equipment, hiking boots and boating equipment. These are places you can imagine yourself leading an active outdoor lifestyle." The Fed feels differently
, predicting a slower economy and increasing unemployment, but aspirational analysis is not their thing.