How lucky are we..

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Cognitive dissonance is a concept I learned in college.  One of the 5 learnings I remember from college.  Was that because I was not paying attention, or it just was not interesting to me.  Yes, is the answer.  I was preoccupied with other learning activities. Nevertheless, here is the definition: Cognitive dissonance is the discomfort a person feels when their behavior does not align with their values or beliefs. Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when a person holds two contradictory beliefs at the same time.


Is it possible that instead of this happening to an individual, it could happen to countries of societies all at once.  That is the only explanation I have for the fact that generally the economic data is good, very good, with stock markets making new highs, inflation and prices declining, individuals and families more optimistic about their personal finance and increasing confidence that inflation will continue to decline yet the degree of general unhappiness and dissatisfaction with the economy widespread and reflected in polling but not in the most widely respected economic sentiment, the University of Michigan confidence survey.  With the political hyperbole season in full swing, you would think one side sees a dark, dismal reality with the economy miserable, unemployment high, no growth, wages not keeping up with cost increases.  The other side is looking at record employment and job creation, continued wage increases, declining inflation, an infusion of capital into the economy through various government initiatives including the Semiconductor Manufacturing bill passed last year and increases in minimum wages. The gap between the numbers and the population sentiment is jarring.  There are many explanations for this societal malaise, one of which is the cost of housing and lingering high interest rates that, incidentally, should be coming down this year as well as already existing price increases and the feeling of Gen Z that house affordability is out of reach that are some of the explanations.  Maybe if we had a less divisive country and both sides highlighted how lucky we are to live in the United States with the strongest economy in the world and stop bringing us all down, our bipolar, cognitive dissonance disturbance would go away and we would all be more grateful and happy.  

The stock market seems to be focused on the positive data as it makes new highs. 

Maybe part of the positive, bad news is good news, that the stock market takes into account is the negative, unhappy sentiment of America!




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