If you’re in a cheery mood, here’s the cure

Norm and I were engaged earlier in a discussion of whether William Butler Yeats did or did not say, “Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.”

Well, whether he said it or not, you don’t have to be Irish. Just read NYT columnist David Leonhardt’s latest eblast:

By now, you probably have at least a passing familiarity with the signs of economic stagnation in this country. I cite the numbers frequently: disappointing economic growth; even more disappointing growth in middle-class incomes; and wealth that has declined for many families over the past decade.
But the signs of stagnation in other areas — beyond economics — may be just as strong.
Consider this list: The number of children growing up without two parents has jumped in recent decades. Some major health problems, like diabetes and obesity, have become more common. So have suicides and accidental drug overdoses. Average life expectancy has actually declined.
And The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham recently pointed out another metric: Americans are having less sex.

Yikes. This leads him to say, “In some basic ways, American society is not working.” I’ll say.

You can listen to him, Ross Douthat and Michelle Goldberg discuss this on a podcast. Not sure I want to…