Friday, July 18, 2008

Too late for Phil Gramm, but it could be that we ARE a whining nation

According to consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow, Gramm was on to something.

"I think the way consumers feel about things is very emotional," Yarrow told "Good Morning America" today. "Those emotions are trumping reality, creating a snowball, which makes the economy worse. It's not as bad as consumers feel like it is."

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"We've had great prosperity for the last few years," Yarrow said. "We had very cheap gas. We've had a lot of increase in our home values. We've had it really pretty good as the stock market increases. Emotion is always caused by this mismatch between what we perceive and reality. It's really emotion, the psychology, that's contributing to our economy right now in a negative way."

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In an interview with the Washington Times this week, Gramm agreed.

"We've never been more dominant; we've never had more natural advantages than we have today. ... Misery sells newspapers," he said. "Thank God the economy is not as bad as you read in the newspaper every day."

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Personally, I — as one who has, as my good friend points out to me, "difficulties" paying her debts — see much more sense in the above comments than I do in the...well, whining. One reason I have "difficulties" paying my bills is simple: the work isn't rolling in as it was several years ago and I haven't been running out to get it.

Evidently the McCain camp doesn't see it this way. Or perhaps Mr. Gramm is just one hell of a stand up guy. In any case:

"It is clear to me that Democrats want to attack me rather than debate Senator McCain on important economic issues facing the country," Gramm said. "That kind of distraction hurts not only Senator McCain's ability to present concrete programs to deal with the country's problems, it hurts the country. To end this distraction and get on with the real debate, I hereby step down as co-chair of the McCain campaign and join the growing number of rank-and-file McCain supporters."

Sources: Good Morning America and AP