People are generally happier when the stock market goes up than when the stock market goes down. But given that large numbers of people own no stock, and most people own only a very small amount of stock, it makes no sense to make stock market performance the main goal of economic policy. Most people’s year-to-year financial situation is more influenced by the state of the health care system than by the state of the stock market. Most people’s retirement security is more influenced by whether or not large cuts are made in promised Social Security benefits than by the state of the stock market. But the interests of the relatively small minority of people whose financial situation is dominated by the state of the stock market have disproportionate influence over the media and the political system.