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« ETF Update: Alternative Energy | Main | A Fresh Look at the Payroll Employment Report »

September 02, 2008



As usual, I appreciate all comments.

Lord -- thanks for the link. It is interesting and something to monitor. I note, however, that the projections from the UM survey (how can I disagree with my own school, where I worked with the designers) are not exactly the data cited by many of the leading bearish pundits.

Inthewoods and Bill - there are indeed many aspects to public opinion. The answers often depend on the topic.

I have a lot of experience in following this. There is a general pattern. People are good in telling you about personal circumstances. Comments about the general state of affairs are more reflections of sentiment or prevailing biases -- often long-standing-- about government institutions.

This has been true for decades. If you think that popular opinion is a better gauge than actual data, then go for it. I am on the other side of the trade, since my conclusion is that this is sentiment.

Blaming it on the media? Not exactly. Man bites dog is a story. My message is boring by comparison. It is something to think about.

Thanks again to all.



There is some evidence contrary to this regarding inflation,


I completely agree with the idea of fading the crowd - but you're using only AEI for data and ignoring the huge amount of other data related to consumer sentiment. You're specifically looking at data related to how happy someone is in their job - but that doesn't reflect any of the other difficulties ordinary workers are going through.

And blaming all this on the media is a rather shallow argument.

Bill aka NO DooDahs!

The phenom of people dissing the gov but loving their OWN congresscritter is caused by IDENTIFICATION. Since they identify with their local group (people are inherently tribal), any criticism of their congresscritter is necessarily a criticism of THEM, so they get defensive, put up walls of cognitive dissonance, etc.

You can observe the same thing when discussing foreign policy, as most Americans tend to think the U.S. is the "good guy." Since they IDENTIFY as "Americans" they can't see the moral equivalence of all nation-states, because they would view that as a personal critique.

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