One noteworthy trend over the past five years or so has been a marked tendency in left-of-center commentators to be more pessimistic about the economic outlook than right-of-center commentators have been. I see three factors at work here:
- I believe left-wing politics and pessimism are generally correlated traits.
- Left-of-center commentators are generally smarter than right-of-center ones and pessimism was the correct position.
- People inclined to be hostile to the incumbent administration are naturally disposed to believe that disaster looms around the corner.
Thus far, I think the trend has generally held up since the election. But at some point after the inauguration, the valence of factor (3) will switch and I wonder how much force that’ll have in pulling things along. Will liberals still enjoy shadenfreude over bank failures? Will the right develop a rhetorical equivalent of “big shitpile” to emphasize how fundamentally disastrous the situation is? I’m genuinely uncertain about this.