I think socialists need our own data collection that takes measurements from a working class perspective.
For example: yesterday, US consumer confidence report came out and it wasn’t as bad as expected. The Conference Board who runs these telephone surveys thought it would be 110 in March, a drop from 132.6 in February. But the number came out to be 120 instead.
This is weird, particularly since jobless claims are the highest since 1967, with the biggest spike there’s basically ever been. And those claims are about to double with another 3 million next week.
(By the way, this bond expert says that looking at consumer confidence and jobless claims is the best way to gauge the over all economy, so good on us.)
So why is consumer confidence still high? One reason could be that retail sales jumped up by a third in this period according to Redbook.
But who are these survey respondents? Are they precarious workers? Are they domestic laborers, care workers, or people that work for tips? Are they heavily indebted? Probably not. If we had our own numbers we could actually gauge a working class confidence index rather than ‘consumer’ confidence.
The numbers come from a place called the Conference Board. I wanted to get the numbers themselves and look into the survey but you have to be a ‘member’, so I applied. We’ll see.
PS: Another thing I was thinking: In the film Contagion (a must watch during your quarantine if you can) there’s a really powerful scene right at the beginning when Matt Damon can’t accept the fact that his wife has died from the virus. The doctor says “we weren’t able to save her, your wife did die.” Damon, shaking his head, says “okay, well just let me go in and talk to her?”
He heard that she was dead but couldn’t process it. Maybe consumers are in a similar state of shock/denial. Remember that “Goldman Sachs economists expect the U.S. economy to contract by 34% in the second quarter and U.S. unemployment to surge to 15% before the fastest-ever recovery takes place.”