On Sep. 11, 2001, as I watched and smelled the smoke rising from the Pentagon, I knew we'd won anyway when, just three hours later, I pulled money out of the ATM and bought McDonald's for lunch not ten miles away. They did a horrible thing, but from the perspective of the entire country it didn't matter. But I never thought it wouldn't matter on a scale like this:
Overall, the American economy is, adjusting for inflation, $1.65 trillion bigger than it was six years ago. To put that gigantic number in some perspective, the U.S. economy has added the equivalent of five Saudi Arabias, eight Irans, 13 Pakistans, or 15 Egypts, depending on your preference. And while 9/11 did cause the stock market to plunge, the Dow is 37 percent higher than it was on Sept. 10, 2001, creating trillions of dollars of new wealth for Americans. What's more, the unemployment rate is 4.6 percent today vs. 5.7 percent back then. Not bad at all.