I would normally say that it doesn’t make sense for politicians to invest much time and effort in trying to talk people into changing their assessment of the economic situation, but I’ve noticed something in the data recently that’s made me think this may be an exceptional time.
The Langer Consumer Comfort Index breaks down people’s assessments of their personal financial situation versus their assessment of the overall national economic situation. They are pretty much always more optimistic about themselves than they are about the country — kind of like how everyone hates Congress but likes their member of Congress. But today they’ve diverged in an unusual way, with personal assessments at basically an all-time high but the national assessment still way down from the pre-pandemic peak.
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