When bearish investors and short-sellers complain that the Federal Reserve has rigged the market to go higher, "tune them out," CNBC's Jim Cramer said Monday.
"These people come out of the woodwork every time the Fed cuts interest rates," the "Mad Money" host said. "I've been hearing this same nonsense ... since 1981" and "it's been wrong every step of the way."
Cramer got his start on Wall Street in the fall of 1981 as a trader with Goldman Sachs. Back then, he said, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average traded at 120 points and 856 points, respectively. As of Monday's close, the broad S&P 500 index is more than 2,300% higher over the course of his career. The Dow is up more than 3,000% in the same period.
The major averages all slid less than 0.50% in Monday's session.
Stocks are great long-term investments, Cramer said.
"First of all, because we've had decades of growth, we've had decades of progress. This isn't always the easiest thing to measure," he said. "Think about how much has changed, though, in the last 38 years: personal computers, the internet, now the cloud. From a material perspective, things are a lot better than they used to be."
While the stock market has struggled to rise over the past 12 months — the S&P 500 is up just 2% and the Dow Jones 0.12% year over year — the state of the economy is a far cry from what the bearish investors are saying, Cramer argued. He noted how the financial system collapsed just over a decade ago, which brought down Washington Mutual, General Motors, Fannie Mae, Lehman Brothers and a host of other American conglomerates.
The Great Recession of the late 2000s was the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The U.S. economy was able to recover from both troubling times, Cramer said.
"Because the Federal Reserve made it so the center held by taking aggressive action ... I don't really care how [the economy] was saved. Enough with the purity. What matters was that it was saved," he said. "I think if we made it through the Great Recession, we [are] going to make it through a garden-variety slowdown like we might be experiencing now."