Pew Research is out with a survey this afternoon that says “46% say they are hearing mostly bad news about the nation’s economy.” What’s the story there? That 54% of people apparently aren’t.
It’s not, however, as if most people are finding things pretty cheery; most are finding a mix of good and bad news on the economy. This is a big deal because economies are notoriously emotional things. A 9-percent jump in people who say they’re hearing mostly bad news probably means most people believe what they’re hearing and are likely to make some decisions because of it. That’s the kind of thing that starts recessions.
This is one of the challenges facing presidential candidates. They will hammer the Obama administration mercilessly in the coming months, potentially causing consumers to pull back, stuff the nation into a recession, which — if they’re successful with their strategy — they get to inherit.
The dismal science, indeed.
Maybe the economy needs more people in search of instant gratification. A separate study says if that’s the case, young people are the answer. The survey said the more credit card debt and college loans young adults had, the higher their self-esteem and the more they felt in control of their lives.
Until they turn 30, according to the Discover Disco Blog.
Right around that fateful 30th birthday, however, the stress of owing tons and tons of money seemed to kick in. Starting at age 28, the more debt people had, the bigger a hit their self-esteem took. This may be because if you ask an 18-year-old with a credit card how much money they expect to making by the time they reach the distant age of 30, they’ll probably put the figure at around a bajillion dollars. By their late 20′s, these folks “may be realizing that they overestimated how much money they were going to earn in their jobs,” as Dwyer puts it. “When they took out the loans, they may have thought they would pay off their debts easily, and it is turning out that it is not as easy as they had hoped.”.