It’s hard to tell whether this opinion piece by Robert Shiller was put up by the Financial Review to remind us of just how stupid some people are or whether it is there because the editors think Shiller gets it exactly right. This is the bit they put on their editorial page:
During the US election campaign, opinion polls consistently showed the economy, especially unemployment, was voters’ No. 1 concern. The Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, sought to capitalise on the issue, asserting: ‘The President’s plans haven’t worked – he doesn’t have a plan to get the economy going.’
Nonetheless, Barack Obama was re-elected. The outcome may reflect the economy’s slight improvement at election time (as happened when Franklin Roosevelt defeated the Republican Alf Landon in 1936, despite the continuing Great Depression). But Obama’s victory might also be a testament to most US voters’ basic sense of economic reality.
It’s depressing, just depressing.