The Atlantic Monthly

Januray - February, 2004. Pages 110-112.

“But as important as the economy is in determining the state of the union, it is also a problematic measure, because the ‘real’ state of the economy does not match our collective perception of it.”

That is although one could in theory deduce America's exact sense of its economic well-being at any given moment by extrapolating from each citizens income and expenses, a kind of aggregate national answer to the question..., that would provide only an indirect and backward-looking measure of the economy’s real strength.

Page 110

The true condition of the economy is best seen not as a snapshot of individual’s circumstances but as the movement of deeper forces through time; economists look back for measures of what has already happened and then use various logical assumptions to project what will happen in the future.”

Page 111

“In fact, there is a wide gap between how most people feel the economy in general is faring (poorly) and how they feel they themselves are doing (quite well)."

page 112

A poll conducted by the Gallup Organization in August

per cent question or response to: evidence
rated the financial well-being of average citizens as fair or poor
employment situation rated as poor or only fair
employment situation rated as poor
of those then working were fearful of being out of a job laid off

Another recent poll, by the Pew Research Center

per cent question or response to: response
“I am pretty well satisfied with the way things are going for me financially” disagreed with
meaning The percentage since 1987 has only been lower three times in twelve.

Page 112

World view. or weltanschauung:

The problem of worldviews is an analytical construct that deals with a difference between the real and the perceived to be, by encompassing both shared beliefs and observations from experience.


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