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Brooks Wilson's Economics Blog: The Views of Economists and Non Economists On The Economy (Repost I)

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Views of Economists and Non Economists On The Economy (Repost I)

In a previous post, “Economists as Experts (Repost I),” I stated that economists deserve respect as experts on economics, and that common accusations about their objectivity were wrong. In this post, I describe how the views of economists differ systematically from non economists. As in my previous post, I rely heavily on Bryan Caplan’s book, The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies. His work is based on a survey on 1,510 randomly selected Americans and 250 Ph.D. economists that was conducted by the Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University in 1996. The survey had thirty seven questions about the state of the economy and how it functioned.

Claiming that economists are nonbiased experts and that their opinions are the best representation of reality, Caplan compares their views to the public’s, and finds that they differ in four areas that he calls public biases. The first, antimarket bias, is the tendency to underestimate the effectiveness and benefits of the market mechanism. Caplan writes,
Economists across the political spectrum criticize anitmarket bias. Liberal Democratic economists echo and amplify Schumpeter’s theme. Charles Schultze, head of Jimmy Carter’s Council of Economic Advisors, proclaims, ‘Harnessing the ‘base’ motive of material self-interest to promote the common good is perhaps the most important social invention mankind has yet achieved.’ But politicians and voters fail to appreciate this invention.
Schultze is not the first economist who supported liberal political agendas to speak to the strengths of markets. In fact, I have difficulty using the political term liberal to define economists and do so with some caution. In this post, I will only call an economist liberal if he or she is a self proclaimed liberal, or supported Obama over McCain in the last election. One such economist is Nobel Laureate (1970) Paul Samuelson who penned these words in a SpiegelOnline article titled, “The Dynamic Moving Center,”
Based on my observations of economic history, both short run and long run, I believe that there is no satisfactory alternative to market systems as a way of organizing both economically poor and economically rich populations.
Also for SpiegelOnline, Edmund Phelps, a Nobel Laureate (2006) writes in a article titled, “What Has Gone Wrong Up Until Now,”
It is preposterous to speak, as some Europeans have, of the "end of capitalism." A good life requires a rewarding workplace -- one of change and challenge -- and that requires some sort of well-functioning capitalism.
Economists recognize greater strengths in markets than does the public in general.[1]

The public also expresses antiforeign bias, a tendency to underestimate the benefits of economic interchange with foreigners. As examples of the differences between economists and the public at large, economists express less concern about outsourcing of jobs and immigration. They also overwhelmingly support policies that lower restrictions on trade.

The general public is also more likely to underestimate the benefits of conserving labor, what Caplan calls the make-work bias. Economists generally favor the introduction of labor saving technology. It allows more of a good to be produced with the same amount of labor, freeing that labor to produce other things. Technological advance in agriculture freed 17 million workers as yields per acre increased. Displaced workers retrained, found new jobs, and produced other things. It might have been difficult to see how the displaced farmers and farm workers would benefit from increasing agricultural productivity, but most did, and certainly the country prospered. Economists measure progress within an industry and in the country by increasing productivity, not by employment numbers. Job creation tends to expand to cover all who wish to work, and flows to areas in which it is most highly valued.

Finally, Caplan argues that non economists suffer from pessimistic bias, the tendency to overestimate the severity of economic problems and underestimate the past, present, and probable future performance of the economy. As a demonstration of the optimism of economists, Brad DeLong writes in the abstract of his paper, “Cornucopia: Increasing Wealth in the Twentieth Century,”
There is one central fact about the economic history of the twentieth century: above all, the century just past has been the century of increasing material wealth and economic productivity. No previous era and no previous economy has seen material wealth and productive potential grow at such a pace. The bulk of America’s population today achieves standards of material comfort and capabilities that were beyond the reach of even the richest of previous centuries. Even lower middle-class households in relatively poor countries have today material standards of living that would make them, in many respects, the envy of the powerful and lordly of past centuries.
As experts in economics, economists have studied economic progress, see its incredible advance over the last century, understand some of its causes, and extrapolate that success into the future.[2]

[1] To be sure, “liberal” economists will speak more about the limits of markets because of imperfections such as asymmetry of information, externalities, public goods, or market power than “libertarian” economists like Milton Friedman, just follow the link on Samuelson’s article as an example, but they both recognize the same flaws as well as the same strengths.

[2] At the risk of repeating a common theme of other posts, one of the disconcerting features of the debate about the current recession is the level of pessimism expressed about the outlook for the U.S. economy in the near term.


  1. Melissa McCall29/8/09 12:47 PM

    Americans have faced many different hardships listening to our government so I can see how they may be pessimistic. However, many Americans listen to their government officials rather than economists on how to spend money. I also take claim that some goverment officials may have economists in the shadows telling them what to say to the public but this is no excuse. If people would set a side their biased opnions on how they would like to vote, e.i. democrat/republic, than maybe we would have a better market. I find it troubling that some people will only vote for one party , no matter what their financial plan is. I also have a question: if people have seen so many patterns in economic history , why are they still not overestimating these patterns to better the future?

  2. rebecca kolosci15/1/10 1:51 PM

    I believe one of the major issues of people is that they do only vote according to party. We never really now what the parties will actually carry out and americans are kept in the dark about many things that happen in our economy. If you ask any american they would tell you they think we should stop bailing out the auto makers and banks, but that doesn't change anything. The people with the real power can do what they want. It is frustrating. I don't vote according to party, I vote according to their views and what they want to accomplish, but much to my disappointment those things don't always get accomplished. I am going into the business and accounting field so that I can have say on what happens for me and I believe that is my way of getting my goals met for myself.

  3. Rachel Ledbetter16/1/10 11:17 AM

    Personally, I know there are people that only vote with whatever party they are in. If people would vote for things by listening to both sides and debating between the two then things would be better off in my opinion because they would form their own opinions and views, rather than just going with what they always have. Sometimes listening to government officials about certain things over economists would be like listening to a middle school student talk about nuclear fision. It's not something they really know everything about.

  4. I can see now I think, after all of the readings, how economists tend to be viewed as liberal. An economist is concerned with productivity, effeciency, and the greatest gain. As a scientist, they see the benefit in following a plan that leads to this gain, which normally involves change, and measured risk... as a society, we are becoming conditioned to reduce risk, or play it safe, which is actually counter effective, if we are actually seeking growth.... As far as economists, and partisanship, I've found more and more, that a large majority of my voting peers don't actually understand the straight political differences between the two majority parties... they just identify with the "conservative" Republicans, or "liberal" Democrats.

  5. Janet Frei17/1/10 4:41 PM

    It bothers me a little that some people vote for the same party year after year without looking at the bigger picture. I believe that if everyone voted according to the different policies, opinions, and views of the politicians, this country would be an even better country than it already is. I have always voted for candidates based on their beliefs, their policies, their plans, etc... You get the point.
    After saying that, candidates-when actually elected-don't always follow through with the different "promises" they may make when campaigning. This is a sad fact of politics.
    I also think that if the American voters could see and hear the economists behind the politicians, it may be easier for the American voters to make a decision when it comes to voting time. It may even be easier for some of those who are loyal to one party, to make the bold jump to a new party. Though this is unlikely.

  6. Jennifer Barrington20/1/10 8:15 PM

    It makes me worry that we can not just all reach one common goal as individuals and together. Jennifer Barrington

  7. Analyn C. Sanders22/1/10 6:09 PM

    'Economists measure progress within an industry and in the country by increasing productivity, not by employment numbers.'This statement doesn't make sense to non economists like me. It seems like if something went wrong with the economy, we all blame the goverment and the economists. Bad decisions been made, but we tend to forget the good decisions they made that the outcome is what we are currently enjoying now.

  8. Mark Morrison...

    People who vote based on party affiliation are missing out on what differing candidates have to offer. It is never a good idea to make a decision based only on one aspect, why would someone vote only on one aspect?

    Also, economists who advise politicians should make their opinions known publicly.

  9. Kristin Wolfe

    Ok thats rediculouse people should not just vote because one person happens to be lets say Republican or Democrate. They should evaluate wat each candadate brings to the table weigh each of there options desicevly then and only then should they vote. Example on what not to do true story:
    When my grandmother was alive she voted Republican were as my grandfather voted straight democrate. Neither side wins because they cancle the others out so it make utterly no point for them to vote in the 1st place for it is a waist of both time and energy on both partys.

  10. The problem with think that a person should vote for the individual and not the the party is that when that individual gets to office he/she will most often vote with his or her own party. So I say to one it is better to vote for the party that most closely represents you stance. If you vote for an individual because of their individual ideals you will only be disappointed. We see it time and again where some one wins office and holds up to nothing that they promised.

  11. brittnie white29/4/10 10:53 PM

    voting based on party affiliation is silly, and not at all helpful, you could end up voting for someone who is for everything that you're against and miss out on voting for who stands for everthing that you believ in just because of who's affiliated with a certain party.

  12. jessy bookbinder18/6/10 4:01 PM

    A person voting should fully analyze the candidates that are running for the position before making a decision. It does not matter what party they are affiliated with, as long as they stand for what you want to see happen in your country. You might have strong believes that always tie into the strongholds of a certain party, but this does not mean the candidate for that party is the right choice. A person should always analyze each candidate individually before making a decision and not base their vote off of repetition or belief in one party.

  13. The perspective of the non-economist and the economist differ possibly due mostly to time. While the economist, with historical data, economic models, etc... view current policies with the optomist eye; the non-economist's main concern is with their regular paycheck. It is difficult for the average person who has been replaced with machinery, or a lower paid foreign worker to be as excited about the future, when his main concern is survival today. Retraining takes time, and money. Although society in the long run may be better off by the use of some economic policies, that gain may not be embraced as quickly by the individual experiencing temporary but tremendous struggle and hardship. The idea that job creation tends to expand to cover all who wish to work, may not seem as apparent in an area where many individuals offer the same service for a days wages (such as the rickshaw driver) ,also where many workers may spend the day uncalled to work.
    While the benefits of trade are many, the increased interdependence is hard to deny. Is it always a good thing to be interdependent? A country, or company that is producing the largest portion of a good, could leave the world with almost no options in the event production is halted immediately for some unforeseen reason.
    Earthquake, flood, disease, etc... can cause entire regions to suffer huge losses affecting their ability to trade. I have to agree with Edmund Phelphs statement wholeheartedly concerning capitalism. Incentive increases production and efficiency. Being highly efficient and productive, while maintaining safety and security, will be a balancing act for ages to come. The economist may win over more non-economist if their proposed policies encourage more incentive for retraining.

  14. Although I agree that people shouldnt vote just according to party their is a reason people do. By the time the big elections happen most all republicans have the same over big viewpoint and same do democrats. It doesnt vary much. I do agree though that most Americans are pessimistic and that is because its very easy to put down politics in general, because their will never be a perfect year and their will always be something to be pessimistic about.

  15. Elaine Owen ...

    Non- economists are a pessimistic bunch who view the current situation to be worse that it really is because they do not have all the available figures that the economist have. if people would just take a look back in time and see how much more comfortably we live than in generations past. I think they would become a bit more optimistic about the future.
    Economists are highly optimistic as they look at the past and present and see how much better things will be it their advice is taken.
    Instead of doubting economists people should listen more and question less, after all economists want what is best for everyone.

  16. Jessica Beck
    I believe Americans have the right to be pessimistic in today's world until things change for the better and real changes are made to help illegal immigration and lose of jobs Americans will continue to be pessimistic. However it is not the economist job to fix these problems economist jobs are to help us make financial decisions and get our economy back in shape.

  17. Emily Peters6/9/10 11:05 PM

    People are so used to picking their party only they never want to look at the bigger picture or what this person can really do to help our society. If more people would think of that instead of choosing a certain party, they would be much more satisfied with who they voted for and how much they help our society. There will always be pessimistic people out there though just because the world is not perfect and most people know that.

  18. American's are well within their rights to be pessimistic. Look at the sate that our economy is in right now. Unemployment is at it's highest ever and people are continuing to get laid off from jobs. The stimulus packet didn't seem to place a dent in our economic woes. Everyday I watch the numbers for unemployment rise steadily and people are continually having to use food stamps to supplement their diet. If the economy does not get an upswing soon we are going to be more than trillion of dollars in debt. This comment has been made by Kren Washington

  19. Kersten Gonce16/1/11 11:29 PM

    I agree that people shouldn't vote according to party. Positive statements, given by economists explains how the economy works, as scientists. If people would open their eyes to the opinions, the views and options that economists offer by mature reasoning, then maybe our nation would be that much better. When economists have normative statements, statements made by policy advisers, they want to know how to improve our economy. Very rarely do economists result to normative statements though.

  20. Hannah Allen20/1/11 6:22 PM

    People vote straight ticket for one reason, they are close minded and stubborn. Republicans as well as democrats do it in very election, no matter how big or how small. In a perfect world, yes, it would be great if people would open their ears and eyes to different opinions and thoughts. Maybe all it would really take is someone explaining other views in a different way to change someones mind. But unfortunately that will probably never happen. It is a great thought, to think that maybe some of these ignorant people voting for a candidate solely because of their party affiliation could maybe one day listen to an economist or other intelligent person who really knows what they are talking about. Maybe the country would be in a better place...who knows...

  21. In today's society, is it really any wonder that most Americans are pessimistic about our future outlook. Most of the politicians on the political stage have skeletons coming out of their closets on a daily basis. They also have both of their hands in the pockets of anyone willing to pay to get their way. With the economy is such sad shape, and millions of people still out of work, it is hard for the average person to see the silver lining. When the head of a typical American household is trying for hours on end to move the monies in their paycheck around in order to pay bills and still have enough to put food on the table all while watching extensive news coverage of a politician's lavish vacation, it does make it a little hard to be optimistic of the future of our nation.
    Kim Huffman

  22. It truly is a frightening trend to see the pessimism Americans and the rest of the world currently hold of the US. One would be hard pressed to find many times in our history where such a great percentage of the population has a lack of hope about the direction of our great democracy. The great depression and Civil War stand out as acceptations. But even during those times there were historic and great leaders like Lincoln and FDR that gave hope and backed it up with strong action.

    I can remember a time during the first gulf war where there was an overwhelming scene of patriotism and optimism for our country. These days its a part of the global pop culture to dislike America. Twenty years ago the world couldn't get enough of our products (jeans, music, McDonald's), but now it is "cool" to be anti-American in many circles.

    The US "brand" has taken a hard hit over the past 10 years and confidence in our economy and the dollar continues to erode. This wouldn't be so catastrophic if not for the fact that many Americans are beginning to buy into this.

  23. Samuelson was correct when he stated that there is no satisfactory alternative to a market system to organize economically rich and poor populations. This can be seen with international trade today. In poor economic nations, there are not resources (education, technology, etc) to produce the more state of the art products that the economically rich populations want. Therefore one can assume that the poor populations will best be served to produce basic products such as agricultural products, clothes, etc. One can not see citizens of an economically rich population accepting a lower wage to produce these basic products, so members of that population should obtain training or education to produce the more technologically advance products that the poorer populations cannot produce.

    Ken Haltom

  24. Rebecca Northcutt29/1/11 5:04 PM

    I believe that people need to vote according to who will be doing the better job for our country. They need to look at the issues not the party they are for. As politicions they have a duty to everyone in this country to do what is best accourding to the issues not just what the party wants them to do.

  25. Everanit Lopez29/1/11 10:17 PM

    Part of the politicians job is to be pessimistic towards the public. The non economist are overall pessimistic because they really don't have the facts. Overall, everyone has an opinion on different subjects that affect all of us and what opinion is right or wrong?

  26. I think most people are a certain party because that what they were raised around. I think alot of people say they are with party but vote differenly. Look at the past election because they didn't agree with one person they most like voted straight demo or rep and someone they didn't have a problem with lost because of the straight ticket. People need to leav parties along and vote for who will make things better and or get the job done. Juliett Jones

  27. Missy Hardeman1/3/11 6:45 PM

    I'm reading this blog for the second time... and I think what struck me the most this time, was the note about employment, in regards to the eliminating and creating jobs. It seems odd, but also very true to me, that eliminating jobs is actually forward progress. In light of the current bailouts, unemployment and debate over extending employment benefits, I wish that more of the "opinionated" public could read and understand this. There are some obstacles we as a nation face with employing our public, but I still feel that all of those truly willing to work, can almost always find a way to do so. Or, maybe I'm just a liberal....

  28. Its crazy how people don't respect economist more than they do. I mean, the fact is that they know what they are talking about and have knowledge in things which every other American just makes drastic assumptions that are most likely wrong.

  29. Lindsay Murff11/6/11 4:14 PM

    I feel like American consumers are beyond looking toward a bright future and instead they are planning for the worst. Pessimism is a sickness that has captured the country.
    Spending dropped in 2008 and has not increased since. This is a cause of fear has snowballed with the help of the media and government officials. Watching the news makes you feel like the end of the world is around the corner. I am a realist and I don't believe the answer is in sugar coating the situation but I feel that the media does a good job in speaking in drastic terms that are not necessary. The idea that positivity has a ripple effect is true whether we embrace it or not. This
    Selling is an attitude and whether it is food at the grocery store or selling a house, if you as a seller can talk to a consumer with genuine positivity accompanied with a real-world outlook, selling will become easier.

  30. Montrelle Mathews23/8/11 12:20 PM

    Economist may never be considered experts to some but that is because of the fear that many people have of the truth or the unknown. Economist might favor things like outsorceing or machines to increase productivity. Public might want the use of manual labor to accomplish the same goals, many americans are afraid of the idea of loss of income so if an economist suggest something that would alter the imcome in a negative way for the public well we have then become a threat to a way of life.We can do all types of research and test but when you affect a persons standard of living for the worst then you have crossed a fine line that economist must walk.You have to be able to create a smooth sense of understanding that won't be taken as a threat. In fact economist are professals but when you don't agree with the group you can be discredited.

  31. Our economy is a shipwreck and has been for a while. How can it be any other way with the "baby boomers" hitting Social Security and Medicare. I kept thinking for a long time that as we die off things would get better. I am at the very end of the "baby boomers." The only thing wrong with this theory is that our good doctors are learning more and more ways to keep us alive. I like to think this is a good thing but economically it probably isn't such a good thing. Hopefully with the aid of economists and other advisers we can eventually clean up our economy. There is a large part of the boomer population that has never planned for retirement. That would have been the last thing on our minds in the 60's early 70's. Predict, advise, all you want it ultimately is someone else that makes a final decision. I just hope for our children's future and our grand children's futures that it is the right decision. So,with no plan you have a lot of people out there that work till they get to old to work and get forced to retire then when you have that happen you also have welfare kick in to help keep them fed and with shelter.

  32. Randy Novak30/8/11 12:38 PM

    As I have read some of the other posts, one thing kept popping into my head. It doesn’t look like any of these responses have come from someone running a big business. Bottom line, people work for a business because they don’t own a business. People work to earn money, and the more money you make, the more successful you are considered. Let’s say you owned a company and made $10.00 profit on an item after paying employee wages, taxes and health care expenses. You were presented a method of technology that enabled you to make $30.00 profit with half of the expenses. I’m not sure I could pass that up and say “no-thanks, I would rather have Freddie-John and Peggy-Sue employed than increase my profit margin”. Now, I am not in support of some of the tactics of big business, but right or wrong, I understand it. Not to sound like I am applying that natural selection is the answer, but people who are resilient will find work, or prepare themselves for another career. No disrespect to my instructor, but I am not taking economics for my love of graphing and variables. There will always be a divide in the line between rich and poor, and expecting the government to ensure that no one falls into the latter category is not realistic.

  33. I have heard people tell me that even though they do not agree with a Republican candidates plans for the U.S., they will still vote straight Republican solely for religious reasons. For alot of people, it has nothing to do with the state of the economy but rather issues like abortion, welfare, etc. I see that the economy is one big roller coaster, with many ups and downs.
    Gena Harcrow

  34. I agree that the pessimism about the future of the U.S. economy is disconcerting. Even in this difficult time the U.S. economy is still the largest in the world. The U.S., population wise is a 3rd the size of China and a 3rd the size of India. No society has made greater financial or technological gains in the history of the world than the U.S. For example, in the late 1800's the U.S. government passed its first ever $1,000,000,000 budget. Today the National Football League, an entertainment enterprise is worth over $9,000,000,000. That jump was made in a little over 100 years. No other society in history has had gains like that. That is a small example from a small segmented entertainment industry that shows what the American economic system has created. Many of the ilnesses that people struggled with in 1811 they still struggled with in 1911, but they are almost non-existent today. When was the last time you heard of someone contracting Polio? In the 1970's cancer was practically a death sentence and while it has not been eradicated completely, the life expectancy has increased astronomically. All of these things have been brought about by the U.S. marketplace. I believe that the problems we face today are big problems but they are solveable problems. The marketplace will begin hiring again and in 15 years we will again be talking about the bright future of the U.S. economy.

  35. Kevin Rhodes31/8/11 7:33 PM

    When observing the American economy it's hard not to be pessimistic. I'm not saying i am but if someone is told their whole life that they are a loser then they eventually believe they are a loser. This is all power of suggestion. Every time you turn on the radio or TV all you hear is that the economy is worse today than yesterday and they find particular segments of society to back up this claim. There is no doubt the economy is bad and we have unemployment issues but with some simple words they might be able to turn some of it around. if you are un-employed and wake up every morning hearing how bad the economy is then what is your motivation to get out there and try. Can economist affect the economy by their reporting? The thought that people think we are worse off today than 50 years ago is concerning. As stated in the blog post we have more luxuries than ever before but have we become spoiled by modern advances? My personal opinion is that we have become lazy as a society and want everything handed to us. Until this since of entitlment is erradicated we will continue to question the economy and how well it is doing.

    Kevin Rhodes

  36. Ester Anderson Said.....
    I agree its hard not to be a pessimist no and days.If you figure it out and maybe im wrong but if China came knocking every family would owe around 200,000 per household.I cant believe we are in such bad of debt.we are supposed to be number one United states Yeah.Everyone wants to be here but it seems like eventually we will be the third world country if things dont shape up.I mean people are complaining about our education for our future generation and how other countrys have smarter children ,but really give me a break....If your so concerned why are you cutting back on funds for education! It crazy thats all I can say CRAZY!!!!!So I agree with other post if you keep stating the ecomomys so bad and is only getting worse the moral is only going to get worse like some one esle stated in there post.I feel like the expert economist need to get it in gear instead of over estimating or underestimating things.Also why do they put thier ideas out there and other experts dont agree ?It just makes it that much harder for the people to know which way is up.At least with scientist we know the sun is in the sky during the daytime and the moon comes out at night.

  37. The first few differences between citizens and economists in this post can be accounted for with the fact that economists look at the big picture, while citizens look at what is going to most harm or benefit them, their friends, and their families DIRECTLY. Economists take into account that what we may not see as affecting us immediately, may do us world of good in the long run - indirectly, I think this has a lot to do with why they are often seen as liberal.

    As far as the last point, and at the risk of sounding like a brat - it's hard to be optimistic. What do we have to be optimistic about concerning our economy? Yes, this may be the best living our nation has ever had , but it is also all we have ever known, and all we keep hearing is that we (teens and twentys) and our children are going to have to clean up the mess that our nation has gotten into. Why would we be anything but pessimistic about that?

  38. Laura Ledford1/9/11 9:17 PM

    I think if people would vote how they feel things would be different. Some stay with what their family decides to do or friends and they do not want to cause rift raft so they go along with it. If everyone was not only honest with choices but themselves things would not be like they are today. We would all have free speech and not be afraid of speaking. Let everyone do there job and not so much critizising each other.

  39. Chris Simmons15/9/11 5:39 PM

    I noticed someone said "I believe Americans have the right to be pessimistic in today's world". This is how easily people differ in opinions. I could not imagine feeling that way. As a matter of fact, I would love to see our future become not only greater in supply and demand, but in optimism and patience. I understand our economy is not one to brag about currently but being a negative person or party until it changes for the better is not a way of life. We all need something to believe in and i wont argue with that..but it starts with believing in ourselves and being apart of groups to create optimism but not following a group when it comes to voting. A lot of people find it easy and secure following the next person or persons when it comes to making decisions about things they are not as educated on or about. This is where doing our own research is very important. If you don't firmly have an opinion about who to vote for then the campaign with the most/largest parties and/or best marketing development will probably seeks most votes.

  40. Economists look at the past and present in order to predict the future economy trends or needs. Looking past your party affiliation to the needs of the country as a whole is a must. Past needs are not always current needs and will undoubtedly change in the future. Objective, well researched study is needed to satify the economist's role.

  41. There are alot of good views among all of those that have posted. I think that people do vote one party, and economists have a bad rap when a president makes decisions that we don't all agree with. Everyone has their own opinion and agenda as to what's right and why, but every four year's we change presidents in hope for a better economy. Economists are normally right on what the economy needs and our president's don't always listen to what the economist's advise.

  42. I agree that voting would be much more effective if all voters were actually watching and listening to every debate, and learning everything they can about each candidate. Voting simply due to party is just not worth the time that you spend voting. I believe that everyone should vote. But I also believe that one should be passionate about what they are doing, and not just voting democratic because that's how their parents always voted. I would prefer to hear what an economist has to say. They are the ones looking at the big picture including our past, present, and future.

  43. The bias that struck me the most was the pessimistic bias. Every time I hear anyone talking about the past, present, or future economies, it is all negative. Economists seem to have a very "glass half-empty" mindset when it comes to the economy. I think the main reason they come across that was is because a lot of people do not understand what they are saying, so they misunderstand them. Also, they to not come across very excited about anything, they are typically dipicted as monotone and lethargic. They don't seem to have much of a personality in front of the layman.

  44. Melissa Oliver26/1/12 11:09 PM

    I wouldn't classify economist as liberal or conservative because of their views or beliefs. They are taught the money ins and outs. The go by graphs and formulas. Money is their job. To know how the economy reacts with money is there responsibly. Just because they know how the market will react because of how they were taught to look at it and learn it has nothing to do with politics. I do think they are highly misunderstood. If they don't look at or for the bad side of a economy problem before hand they they wont have anything to go on to see a way to fix it. I do see that economist are very detailed orientated people that always have a plan b set up.I don't see how thinking ahead and planning is a bad bias.
    Melissa Oliver

  45. Times have changed. People shouldn't just base their votes and opinions on what party they consider themselves to be. As I have seen, our government isn't the smartest when it comes to our financial situation. I think we should try something a little different and listen more to the economist and who we think has learned from the mistakes and are willing to change things up for the better.

  46. krystal reyes29/1/12 8:04 PM

    as a person. you need to vote based on your own beliefs and moral values.listen to what they are saying and judge for yourself, who you feel that would best represent your community, country, you and your family as an citizen.

  47. The antiforeign bias is one that I think people struggle with because they do not understand that today's economy is intertwined. Today's market is a prime example. Our stock market is changing not based on what is happening here but what is happening in Europe. People are not always as informed as they believe they are.