One who didn't study economics in college would view the national economy through a different lens than the Federal Reserve, Capitol Hill and the White House. It boils down to whether one has a job that pays the bills. If the answer is no then the economy is unacceptable. Those who can pay their bills look to the future and wonder if they can reach important milestones such as buying a home and saving for retirement.
Laypeople have grassroots tools to measure the economy. These are mine:
- Compare global currencies by the price of a McDonald's hamburger in each country.
- Gold stands still and the U.S. dollar bounces up and down like a yo-yo which creates the illusion that gold is increasing or decreasing in value.
- When worker's wages remain the same while the prices of everything else increases (housing, food, etc.) then it means that the prices are inflated artificially by some sort of game.
- The worth of an object is the amount of money that it will cost to replace it.
- If an unemployed person applies for several jobs that s/he is qualified for and is not hired within one month then it means that the industry is saturated with good candidates. It means that it's time to move or retrain for a different job, or both. The same applies to the dating market: If one is marriageable and looking, but remains single too long then it means that there's too much "inventory" on the market. It means that one should look elsewhere where the odds are in one's favor. For women that means searching in military bases, oil fields and football games which are male dominated, and men should search in places that are female dominated.
- If one earns $42,000 a year and has an auto loan at 15% interest than one will never save for retirement. By the time s/he pays off the car and can begin saving for retirement it will already be time to replace the car.
- If a couple has a combined income of $80,000 a year and they buy a house that exceeds $300,000 then they won't maintain it properly. The cost of home repairs is approximately 25% of the cost of the mortgage, which means that if the purchase price was $300,000 than the true cost of the house is about $375,000.