Today’s Wall Street Journal has two good letters regarding the Dow’s record high. Here is the first, by a writer in Morganton:

Regarding your editorial “A Record Dow” (March 6): At the risk of being the devil’s advocate, I point out that while the Dow Jones average has made a new all-time high this doesn’t reflect the fact that the dollar has decreased in purchasing value perhaps around 10% since the previous high in 2007. If an appropriate adjustment were to be made in the Dow average to reflect this, it would be considerably below the 14,000 level and more reflective of the fact that both the U.S. and most of the rest of the world are worse off today than in 2007.

William Hynson

Morganton, N.C.

I would add this. The DJIA consists of 30 stocks of huge, publicly traded firms. With the Fed showering money on the country (via the vicarious generosity of Washington politicians), naturally many large companies will be earning high profits. That doesn’t tell us anything about the overall health of the economy. Two canaries in the coal mine that are looking very sick are labor force participation and new business startups, both of which are slumping badly.