Krugman's title is shit but the column is interesting.

    For the past few months, economists who track short-term developments have been noting a peculiar divergence between “soft” and “hard” data. Soft data are things like surveys of consumer and business confidence; hard data are things like actual retail sales. Normally these data tell similar stories (which is why the soft data are useful as a sort of early warning system for the coming hard data). Since the 2016 election, however, the two kinds of data have diverged, with reported confidence surging — and, yes, a bump in stocks — but no real sign of a pickup in economic activity.

    The funny thing about that confidence surge, however, was that it was very much along partisan lines — a sharp decline among Democrats, but a huge rise among Republicans. This raises the obvious question: Were those reporting a huge increase in optimism really feeling that much better about their economic prospects, or were they simply using the survey as an opportunity to affirm the rightness of their vote?


When Trump won in November, stocks saw a small but not insignificant surge. But banks and institutional investors have been downgrading their projections for GDP growth all quarter once reality started to set in: the Trump effect is a whole lotta bullshit. In response to the tax plan, stock and bond markets barely registered a response. It's kind of unbelievable. Rich people were told that their president wants to shatter the record for largest tax break for rich people in the history of tax breaks for rich people, and the markets were mute.

My only fear is that the Katrina moment, when it comes, still won't disabuse people of Trump.

Question for everyone older than me (probably most people): is it just me, or is there a growing sense that the economic pie is becoming fixed and that other people's gains mean less for you? In other words, am I imagining that people are getting cagier about the future? Or is my timeline too small?

posted by kleinbl00: 809 days ago