Who’s not concerned about the economy?

President Obama went toe-to-toe with the business community today when CNBC hosted a Town Hall forum on business issues in Washington. NPR’s politics blog reports the concerns of the little people didn’t come up much when the opportunity presented itself, and it says Obama booted an opportunity to explain the difference between a government and a business.

In advance of the event, CNBC’s online poll — not scientific — showed that by a margin of 2-to-1, most people think they’re worse off now than they were two years ago.

And in another poll — this one scientific — 90 percent of the people say they’re “worried” about the economy, which raises two questions: (1) Are people feeling worse off because they’re worse off? Or are they feeling worse off because they’re spending more time worrying about maybe being worse off soon? (2) Who are the 10 percent who aren’t worried about the economy.

But most of the big economic news seems to be coming from a declaration that doesn’t affect anyone but statistic geeks. The National Bureau of Economic Research says the recession ended more than a year ago. It’s a good tidbit for winning a bet or comparing recessions, but it really doesn’t mean that individuals are any better or worse off than they were during the “official” recession.

How the economy affects us often has more to do with emotional factors than statistical ones.

  • BJ

    I’m one of the 10%. My business has been growing 50-200% every year for the last 7. This is it’s closer to the 200% growth. I actually worry about things getting better, for everyone else. Because that spell bad news for me.

  • Bob Collins

    This is the part where I ask the obvious question, BJ.

  • kennedy

    Short term prospects and long term prospects are different.

    If one has kept their job through the recession with no significant debt changes, odds are good that their daily/weekly/monthly finances have not changed much.

    However, decreases in property values and the stock market mean decreased available wealth. Retirement is pushed farther into the future. The specter of unemployment becomes more threatening. This would tend to make one worry about the economy.

    Unless you are in a business that cycles contrary to the larger economy, which would be…. what BJ?