Taibbi: According To Pundits, “Ignorance” Makes Americans Give “Wrong” Answers To Economic Confidence Poll

Authored by Matt Taibbi via Racket News,

Paul Krugman of the New York Times on America’s “belief” problem when it comes to the economy:

Biden is not, in fact, presiding over a bad economy. On the contrary, the economic news has been remarkably good, and history helps explain why. Nonetheless, many Americans tell pollsters that the economy is bad. Why? I don’t think we really know… Many voters have demonstrably false views about the current economy — believing, in particular, that unemployment, which is near a 50-year low, is actually near a 50-year high.

The Guardian editorial Krugman linked to explains: Americans continue to believe the economy sucks, even though they’ve been told over and over it doesn’t! Why won’t they listen?

Commenting on their own exclusive poll, the Guardian wrote:

The results illustrate a dramatic political split on economic views — with Republicans far more pessimistic than Democrats. But unhappiness about the economy is widespread.

Two-thirds of respondents (68%) reported it’s difficult to be happy about positive economic news when they feel financially squeezed each month (Republicans: 69%, Democrats: 68%).

Noting Joe Biden’s achievements include a “landmark $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill” and legislative actions “predicted to create 1.5m jobs per year for the next decade,” the Guardian complained:

That message may be hard to sell given the widespread disbelief of and ignorance about the health of the US economy highlighted by the poll.

As well as being wrong about the unemployment data, respondents were unaware of, or chose to mischaracterize, other major economic data points.

I can’t remember an instance of newspapers polling Americans about their feelings, then telling them their answers are not only wrong, but ignorant! The Guardian takes the additional hilarious step of blasting respondents for making it harder to “sell” the story the economy is doing well.

Krugman, last seen citing the sqme unemployment stat and insisting those who complain about the economy are Republicans bent on “giving Vladimir Putin victory,” now says the problem is “psychological,” because people want to think higher incomes are personal reward rather than monetary side-effect.

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