I Am Still Here

I have been out of town and absolutely consumed by a couple of very weird business issues, so I have not blogged much.  I will try to do a little today, but I will leave you with a quote I liked from Scott Sumner:

Or perhaps (as I've argued elsewhere) there is no such thing as "public opinion". People are like electrons; you can't measure them without changing their positions. ....Most people don't have views that are internally consistent, so their "views" on public policy issues are strongly shaped by the wording of the polls.


  1. Mercury:

    "[Most people's] "views" on public policy issues are strongly shaped by the wording of the polls."

    Exactly. Further, when a majority responds favorably to the statement:

    "Immigration is good for America."

    ...that tends to get turned into claims that "Most Americans" are in favor of what amounts to open borders and/or legal residency status or "a path" to US citizenship for any foreigner vaguely related to any minor currently standing within the geographical confines of the USA - when almost nothing could be farther from the truth.

  2. SamWah:

    Poll questions are expected to draw pre-planned answers.

  3. ErikTheRed:

    Polls are inherently dishonest, as they seldom (if ever) consider opportunity costs. If you poll a thousand people and ask them if they'd like to have sex with a celebrity they find attractive, a huge percentage would say "yes." If phrased the question in such a manner that you went into detail as to what they would have to change and accomplish in their lives in order to actually have a shot at making that happen, you'll get... a very different answer.

  4. gr8econ:

    Anyone that studies economics or has been in business for any length of time knows that you ignore what people say and watch what people do.

  5. Tom Murin:

    Exactly. Deeds - not words. Talk is cheap.