Are the record high stock market indices and low unemployment good indicators of the strength of our economy?

Or is the record breaking trade deficits which bring us a plethora of cheap imports hiding a deeper economic problem. If you combine the cheap imports with the exploitation of millions of illegal immigrants, you end up with an American worker we can no longer afford to pay. It seems we can no longer afford the standard we have built for ourselves in America. Will Americans wake up to the warning signs before it is too late?

Answer:
The economy is as good as it gets. Like winning the first place in a dancing contest in the Titanic.
The overall economy is in good shape. I do agree with you about the Illegals, they are a drag on wages and social services infrastructure. importing cheep goods is more than cheep labor in other countries. Much of those problems could be solved with the Fair Tax (consumption tax) all goods would be taxed (import and domestic) But no more "income" tax. *EVERYONE* would be taxed... not just wage earners... that means that drug dealers, other criminals, "under the table" wages, the rich whose "income" comes from tax free bonds. everyone. our goods would be more compete on the international market because there would be no Corporate Income tax so manufactured goods would be cheaper. But it is unlikely to ever pass. to much political power is embedded in the present system...
I by far am not an economist, and cant give any concrete data, but I have been hearing of these warning signs of the collapse of the US economy for years, and years, and so far it hasn't happened. So until it does happen, I am going to continue to work hard, watch my investments grow on a daily basis, buy property, take vacations overseas, drive my BMW, and wait for that fateful day when I lose everything as predicted.
Not really. Low unemployment means that for now there are plenty of jobs. High stock prices means that investors have a lot of confidence in the future of the stock prices. I would look at the Price/earnings ratios of the stocks. That is an indication if the stock prices are just bid up by speculating investors or if the stock has real value. The rule of thumb I've heard is that if the PE ratio is less than 15 the stock has a good value. Or is earning a decent return on the capital investiment.

Also just because the overall economy may be in good shape doesn't mean all sectors are doing well. I believe what I've heard that pharmacutical companies are going to take a beating. First the Generic situation and the pressure to reduce the time on patents means the revenue these companies can generate is going to be limited.

Also even though gas prices are high and companies are making record profit amounts, their profit margins are below most other businesses like even banks. So they are not going to be able to generate the capital needed to build more refining capacity and gas prices are going to stay high for that reason only.
YES!

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