09 November 2010

How's the Economy?

Good? Bad?

I bet I can guess your political affiliation based on your answer.

Check out this article from Slate. Brief excerpt:

"Financially worse off today" is a surprisingly fluid category. What in 2008 was mostly a Democratic slice of the electorate is now mostly a Republican slice. And no, it's not because Obama's policies somehow selectively benefited Democrats at the expense of Republicans. It's mostly a matter of partisan perception: 2008's economic Cassandras were primarily Democrats sure that Bush's empire-building profligacy was ruining the economy, and 2010's Chicken Littles are chiefly Republicans convinced that Obama's creeping socialism is hastening America's decline.

To understand the strength of partisan distortion of objective economic facts, consider the following: Between 1980 and 1988, inflation fell from about 14 percent to about 4 percent. But when asked what had happened to inflation over Reagan's two terms, more than half of "strong" Democrats insisted that inflation had gotten somewhat or much worse over that period, whereas only 8 percent said it had gotten better, according to an analysis by Larry Bartels, a professor of politics at Princeton. For "strong" Republicans, it was pretty much the exact opposite.

Worth thinking about.

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