With all due respect to pollsters, sometimes the public speaks without intervention, as two recent examples show.
After years of debate and dire predictions about the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) it was exceedingly clear what people want when it became available to all October 1: health insurance. Healthcare.gov, the federal portal, had 14.6 million unique visits in its first 10 days. Kentucky made national headlines when, in the first week of our exchange, 17,872 people made insurance applications and 11,879 were completed.
Yesterday, despite rhetoric about how much government interferes with business and how the debt is destroying our economy, the markets enthusiastically endorsed a compromise to keep government open and paying its debts. "Equities lifted by hopes for US debt deal," the Financial Times of London reported in a typical headline.
The Affordable Care Act and its rollout aren't perfect, and one buoyant day doesn't mean everything is cool between government and business, or that the federal debt is nothing to worry about.
But we'd all do well in the future to pay less attention to what ideological doomsayers say and more to what people, and markets, do.