Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
The Consumer Excitement Index.

Over at, Adam Hanft delivers Wanted: Something New Under the Sun. In it, he declares:

Why does everyone fret so much over the consumer sentiment index? I've never understood the predictive value of such a fluttery, day-by-day mood check. A far more meaningful measure of economic vitality would be one that doesn't exist yet, but should: the consumer excitement index. The CEI would track how motivated consumers are to buy, based on the appeal of those products battling for our few recessionary dollars in the rowdy tussle of the marketplace.

How would a CEI score look today? Bad enough to make Greenspan's furrows go even deeper. Across the board -- with some glowing exceptions -- there is a universal lack of worthy stuff to buy. It's both scary and breathtaking that the consumer landscape exhibits such a deficit of must-haveness and is so lacking in imagination and insight, so populated with small ideas and joyless copycatting.

He's got a very, very good point. There are so few revolutionizing things out there, it's not surprising that we're still in a recession. We need more big ideas, more venture capital, more experiments, more jobs. We need more TiVos, more iPods, more G5s, more Internets. We need more cool stuff to get the economy off the rocks. Yo, W -- you want to kick the economy back into gear? Forget about dividends, make research and development tax-deductible. Watch the US zoom way out in the lead again. Watch Americans with college degrees disappear from the unemployment lines. Watch education rocket back up the priority list. And best of all, watch Adam's CEI rocket off the the charts!

Y'know. Just a thought.

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