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Eternal sunshine


A new Harris poll indicates that half of Americans believe that unemployment is at a 50-year high, when it is pretty much at a 50-year low.


Look, I get it, not everybody is a nerd, a dweeb, a person who has the faintest clue about any social fact whatsoever, but you know what gets me about this, comrades? I mentioned the other day that if fifty or forty or even thirty years ago, somebody asked you if unemployment was at a 50-year high, you might have a semi-decent excuse for answering “I don’t know, because where are those stats kept exactly and how would I find them?”

I mean I don’t want to go too far: if somebody asked you in, say, 1988 if unemployment was at a 50-year high and you couldn’t even remember that it was surely much higher six years ago, in the middle of a deep recession, well that would be pretty bad, unless you were 16 or something.

But today? Today everybody has a device in their pocket that lets you look up the answer to this question at any time of day or night in, oh, let’s see, about TEN SECONDS. So what exactly is your excuse for being a complete moron, America? More to the point, what is your excuse for not KNOWING you are a complete moron, who doesn’t know a goddamned thing about anything, because let’s face it, if you think unemployment is at a 50-year high you don’t know the first fucking thing about economics or politics or culture in this country. That’s like thinking FDR was president of the Confederate States of America or Tom Brady signed the Declaration of Independence, or . . . I mean come on now.

There’s a weird thing happening, which is that the incredible ease of acquiring information has somehow made people who actually haven’t acquired any information about a subject be amazingly arrogant about their supposed knowledge regarding it, even though they know literally nothing about it. This is related to how the incredible ease of answering peoples’ messages has made people extremely bad about actually doing so — since I can do it so easily, it’s as if I’ve done it, although actually I haven’t done it and am not going to do it, because I forgot that I didn’t. But I THOUGHT about doing it, and doesn’t that count somehow?

Also 56% of those polled think there’s a recession right now, although 97% of those people (I made up this number) couldn’t even define what that term means if their lives depended on it. But they’re very confident about the answer! Also too, half of Americans think the stock market is down, although the S&P 500 is up 40% since the start of 2023. Etc.

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