While Wall Street celebrated the lowering of the national unemployment rate by three-tenths of a percent Friday, gas prices in California jumped 20 cents per gallon overnight.
Stock prices went up and pundits declared that the 7.8 percent unemployment rate announced by the government is great news for President Barack Obama's re-election chances.
There is no doubt that the current economy is a decidedly mixed bag. It seems that for every good piece of news there is an offsetting bit like California's gas crisis.
Of course, some folks immediately accused the government of manipulating the jobs figures to help the president politically. Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch leveled such a charge, saying someone had cooked the books. That, of course, is malarkey.
People in the country may be susceptible to proclamations like Welch's, though, because of some of the things government does. For example, why does the government leave energy and food prices out of the calculation for the inflation rate?
It would be a pretty good guess that after housing, the two biggest items in the family budget are energy and food. Yet, the government doesn't include them when determining the inflation rate. Strange - and one may infer - slightly dishonest.
Perhaps, though, if government included those items in inflation it would cause a panic. With the economy growing at an anemic 1.7 percent per year, throwing double-digit increases in energy and food into an official government report might be too big a shock to our system.
For now, though, it would be good if the country could concentrate on the new jobs created last month. During this sluggish recovery, every piece of good news should be celebrated.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.