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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "The economists don't know a thing about stocks," Jim Cramer proclaimed to his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Thursday as he sounded off against the academics who have been trying to keep individual investors out of our red-hot stock market.
Cramer said the economists who warn that weakness in China and Europe will spell doom for U.S. stocks or those who warn that increases in our payroll taxes or the price of gasoline will cause our economy to stop in its tracks have been wrong so many times it's a wonder they still bother to offer their opinions. These macro-economic theories may work in the classroom, he said, but so far in the real world they haven't amounted to a hill of beans.
Cramer once again explained how important the housing sector is to the U.S. economy. Rising home prices make people feel wealthier, while new home construction allows them to move around more freely. A rising stock market has boosted IRAs and 401(k)s around the country, he said, and the strong dollar has created bargains for those traveling or selling overseas.
The economists cite the rise in payroll taxes and gasoline as major worries, but for most people those changes have been barely noticeable, said Cramer. The fact is that most people are better off now than they were four years ago and that simple notion has lifted stocks from Macy's (M) to Panera Bread (PNRA), Pfizer (PFE) to REITs including Kimco Realty (KIM) and Tanger Factory Outlets (SKT).Cramer said it doesn't take a genius to see what's happening in the markets, it just takes someone looking at individual companies rather than macro-economic trends that are hazy at best. The economists don't know about stocks, he concluded, because if they did they would see how dead wrong they've been for months.