Search This Blog

Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Doing Fine, Feeling Bad

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the politics of economic policyObjective indicators are doing great.

Unemployment was 3.7 percent in November.

Inflation was an 3.1 percent.

Real disposable personal income was up 0.4 percent in November

The Dow Jones was above 37,000, a record high.

So why are Americans still grumpy?

Justin Lahart at WSJ:

It could also be that, even though inflation has been cooling, Americans’ recent inflation experiences have left a more lasting mark. The Labor Department’s measure of consumer prices was 19% higher in November than it was before the pandemic hit. An analysis conducted by economists Ryan Cummings and Neale Mahoney suggests that the impact of inflation shocks on sentiment have a sort of half life, decaying over time.

The pandemic itself left a mark, too. Americans collectively went through one of the most wrenching periods the country has experienced in living memory. Expecting them to feel better just because the economy has been doing pretty well lately might be a bit much.