Thursday, January 24, 2008

Everything now Partisan

Michael Barone's column today points out that people see the economy based on their partisan leanings:
"Then, after the election of George W. Bush, the divergence between the two parties expanded into a chasm. It began to widen during the recession of March-November 2001, and it widened much more as the economy recovered and resumed low-inflation growth. By early 2006, a time of vibrant economic growth, 56 percent of Republicans said the economy was excellent or good, while only 28 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats agreed. We have seen similar responses in the years since, although the percentage of Republicans rating the economy positively has dropped somewhat since the subprime mortgage crisis and the decline in housing prices during the second half of 2007. As the Pew Research Center points out, Democrats and Republicans of similar income levels gave sharply different ratings of the economy.

There is a divergence here between Democrats’ and independents’ assessments of their personal economic condition, which have generally been positive, and their assessments of the economy as a whole. It’s hard to resist the conclusion that when Democrats—and, in 2004-2006, independents—were responding to questions about the condition of the economy, they were actually responding, “I am a Democrat,” or, more emphatically, “I hate George W. Bush.”

1 comment:

dcat said...

Wait -- either follow the argument to its logical conclusiuon or don't make the argument at all. The same, then, can be said about Republicans, and yet you don't manage to mention them. Apparently only democrats fit your calculus.

But here is the flaw in your argument. And it's sort of a big one. My personal economic condirion has improved while I still see failings in the economy. You see, it is possible, and Republicans will be confused by this, not to conflate self interest with national interest. This is why even affluent Democrats are willing to deny the need for tax cuts. Because while affluent Democrats will benefit from those tax cuts, they still believe in a greater good. Furthermore, many of us realize that economic indicators that don't take into account national debt are really fraudulent to begin with.

I have no idea why this is so complicated for Republicans to believe in. Then again, some of the more prominent commentere here believe that "socialist' is shorthand for "stuff I disagree with" so I suppose the deck is stacked.