The economy has structural problems. The solution at this time is not to convince people that everything is fine and just go spend money you don’t have. Personal debt is much to high. The practices that allowed huge anti-competitive and economy endangering institutions to threaten the economy have not been addressed. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been given to those who caused the credit crisis. Making the federal debt problem even worse.
Some suggest we need to regain consumer confidence. Unfortunately that fixes nothing. That “strategy” is just to convince people problems don’t exist and buying what you can’t afford is fine. Just convince people to go spend more money, run up their credit card debt, borrow against their house, as long as everyone believes it can continue. That can work for awhile but it then fails due to structural issues. And the solution becomes more and more difficult the longer such a strategy is used. The same way a ponzi scheme eventually implodes.
If you could convince those in a ponzi scheme (and new investors) that they should just be optimistic it can continue. But eventually people ask for their money to buy something and none exists and the scheme fails.
With an economy, after structural problems are addressed then you need to convince people to be less fearful and to be more optimistic. Because often by that time people have become so fearful that they are not taking even reasonable steps. They don’t buy even though they have the money in the bank and have a real need for the purchase. When this happens, convincing people that the economy is stable is important. However, cheerleading and convincing people to just continue to run up their debts to spend more is not wise when the economy is already far to in debt is not wise (though it is politically expedient).
The USA needs to stop living beyond its means. That is the most important factor to long term economic strength. But the focus doesn’t seem to be on doing this, instead it seems to be on printing money to paper over the problems. There are many great strengths of the economy and those have allowed huge federal deficits, huge personal debt, monopolistic practices, destabilizing financial risks taking… Even with that things have been quite good. But those areas need to be addressed over the long term.