Can we talk for a moment about the Grinch that didn’t steal Christmas? There was a lot of skepticism a couple of months back, when major retailers said that despite supply issues, they expected to be able to meet consumer demand. But I’ve seen almost no reports of empty shelves and frustrated shoppers. And in this case absence of evidence really is evidence of absence, because you know that some media organizations would have loved to hype stories of holiday woe if they could find them. But because Fox News and Newsmax recently got busted using photos of empty shelves taken in other years and other countries to bash Joe Biden, they appear to have been cautious about reporting a miserable Christmas experience unless they could find actual examples — and apparently they couldn’t.
So why are people still so downbeat? There continues to be a huge divergence between people’s negative views about “the economy” — a perception based in part on partisan attitudes, in part on media coverage — and their mostly favorable reporting on their own financial situation: