46% of Americans are wrong

Byline: | Category: Economy | Posted at: Thursday, 18 October 2007

Nearly half of Americans are completely and utterly wrong. The economy is not in a recession by any measure. Not even close. However, a CNN poll says 46% of Americans think we are. Why?

I can think of three reasons:

The educational: Americans don’t know what the word “recession” means.

The conspiratorial: The media has done such a good job at painting a bad economic picture that people believe it.

The political: In spite of knowing that we’re not in a recession, poll respondents with an anti-Bush sentiment claim that we are just because they can’t admit to anything going right while Bush is President.

What do you think?

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3 Responses to “46% of Americans are wrong”

  1. Freddie O'Connell Says:

    I think that a lot of people view the economy emotionally rather than rationally (I have no statistical evidence, hence the “I think”). When one sees the stock of housing in one’s neighborhood stagnate (as I do in mine right now), and the media is talking about one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders (Countrywide) experiencing financial turmoil, (plus the occasional discussion of hedge funds, even if one doesn’t know exactly how influential hedge funds are in impacting capital and credit markets), it raises eyebrows. Top this off with oil hitting record highs on a weekly basis, and I’d buy belief in a recession. The textbook definition of a recession (two straight quarters of a declining GDP) is probably less easily verbalized than, “Hmm. I look around and see signs that the economy is troubled. Must be a recession.”

  2. maggie Says:

    Yes, people don’t know the definition of a recession and REACT EMOTIONALLY to the news and stories of those worse off than themselves, coming to a subjective decision about the state of the economy.

    However, knowing this, we shouldn’t give credence to such polls, rather, continue to point out the idiocy of asking such questions without first establishing there is sufficient knowledge upon which to base an opinion.

  3. Volunteer Voters » Why Do We Think This Is A Recession? Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm is wondering why 46% of Americans think we are in a recession when by the dictionary definition we are clearly not. Here are his theories: The educational: Americans don’t know what the word “recession” means. [...]