Sunday, April 5, 2009

People Know Economic Stuff

A new report by the Pew Research Center finds that Americans are "reasonably well-informed about a number of basic facts" on the economic mess. Over eight-out-of-ten know the government bailed out banks and others, and seven-in-ten correctly identified China as the country holding most of the U.S. debt.

I guess those billion or so stories on Issue #1 by the TV folks made a difference. Or maybe this burst of economic knowledge can be traced to the Jon Stewart-Jim Cramer dust-up.

Or -- and this is most likely -- people know more about this because it matters to their lives. Political knowledge is often abstract or at least it doesn't matter all that much in our day-to-day lives. Yeah, it's cool if you can name every member of Congress, but how useful is that? When jobs are being lost, when retirement looks damn near impossible, that's the stuff that matters, so it's no surprise people did well on this.

You can take the test too, though I gave you a couple of answers already. Give the quiz a try.

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