Good News! The Economy Has Soared Over the Past Week.


So how’s the economy doing? Getting better, getting worse, or what? Gallup asked people this question twice in November and it turns out that Republicans have had a huge change of heart over the past week. The number who think the economy is on the mend has skyrocketed from 16 percent to 49 percent.

The point of this is not to make fun of Republicans.1 Democrats responded the same way, though not by nearly as much. The point is that we shouldn’t pay too much attention to poll questions like this. I’d put the beloved “right-track-wrong-track” question in this category too. Very often, people view these things as proxies for “what do you think of the current president?” They don’t really have any idea whether the economy is getting better or worse, but they don’t like that Obama guy, so they give a negative answer.

This tendency appears to be more pronounced among conservatives than liberals, but both sides do it. As an objective measure of what people really think about the economy, poll questions like this don’t tell us much.

1OK, maybe a little bit.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.