Saturday, July 9, 2011

Time Horizons

You all know FLG's Time Horizons Theory by now. Liberals have short time horizons, conservatives have longer horizons. Thus, liberals give far more value to the present over the future than conservatives. FLG has also offered a simultaneous related observation that liberals also are more empirical and conservatives more theoretical. FLG considers this theory more positive than normative.

A more normative conclusion that FLG has mentioned several times is that liberals are entirely blind to this to the point where they think concerns about the future are, quite literally, irrational.

As if he were trying to prove FLG's theory single-handedly, here's Matt Yglesias:
This kind of thinking seems dangerously prevalent in Washington. Like voters are standing around here in the summer of 2011 saying to themselves, “well life is pretty good in America under Obama, but I’m really concerned about the long-range CBO projections so I might vote against him.” But that’s nuts. Obama’s vulnerable because conditions in the country right now aren’t very good.

To be clear here, FLG also thinks his other pet theory -- The Big Assumption -- is at play. Matt, a liberal, values the short-term a lot. Therefore, everybody must value the short-term a lot. Everything to the contrary is crazy and wrong.


Anonymous said...

I didn't hit the link to read the full context - sorry. It sounds as Yglesias is trying to make sense of Plouffe's (ad guy) assertion that unemployment won't be a factor in 2012. If this is true - read on. If not ignore the rest.

From a former ad guy, here's where Plouffe went wrong and went wrong in a big way. In advertising part of the ad strategy is always to convey the "what's in it for me? to the consumer" This is so easy to do with a jar of pickles or Mcdonald's. When the product has a bigger price tag, not so easy. Obama has the biggest price tag in the history of advertising so Plouffe has a really hard task. When you read Plouffe's words you see he's clearly operating on this age old advert truism. According to him, CBO numbers don't come into play when you consider how you are "personally" doing under Obama.

No, he's right on the immediate thought. But if you think a little yes they do.

The overall economic health which does include CBO numbers but not literally mean CBO numbers if you're still following me comes into play like maybe this example - John Q. Voter has a secure job, all his benefits and is even prospering. But what if his neighbors aren't so fortunate? What if some of his neighbors have lost their jobs, haven't been able to find new ones, and aren't keeping up their homes? His neighborhood is looking shabby and it never has before. What if some of them then lose their homes? They've lost their homes and now John Q Voter just lost real value in his home. What if John Q Voter has been paying his mortgage dutifully just like he agreed to but his home has lost so much value, the bank has sent him a form letter saying he can no longer use his home equity line? More than that, what if John Q. Voter was using that home equity line to his kid's college tuition rather than dipping into his already hobbled retirement accounts? Easily we can see how the unemployment problems in this country are his problem and the problems of others as well.

It is so easy to sit at a conference table and rattle off dozens and dozens of scenarios of the communal aspects of a bad economy. Plouffe was being isolationist in his thinking (yes I LOVED typing that) as his remarks so clearly demonstrate. Last Fall the White House was said to become more and more isolationist. I don't know about that but what I do find so fascinating from a marketing standpoint is -Obama won '08 by promising to bring the country together. The Uniter. For '12, his message - for right now as it could change - is the exact opposite -Isolationist.

I don't think there is an example in advertising history of a brand doing such a flip flop in such a short span of time. In other words, if Obama were a company that traded on the Exchange, I'd advise sell.

Mrs. P

Anonymous said...

Oh, and John Q. Voter with the secure job and benefits? What happens to his benefits in 2014 when Obamacare hits? Does his company decide to take the fine rather than continuing to cover him at a much higher rate to them and dump him off into some yet-to-be-announced government program at some-yet-to-be-announced price tag?

John Q. Voter is the kind of guy who has always played by the rules and always had health care through his employment. All he ever had to do was go to an annual enrollment meeeting at his firm to see if any changes affected him or his family. Now he has to find his own way through this mess called health care on his own time and he was promised by Obama if he "liked his health care he'd be able to keep it"

Right now it is estimated that 1/3 of firms that provide health care to their employees (for a fee) will no longer be doing so. That's a big broken promise. Bigger than George H. W. Bush's read my lips as far as the effect on poeple's lives.

There's also a huge effect coming to the private health care industry which will effect advertising and other industries

Obamacare is a big part of CBO numbers especially since we've learned the CBO was given funny Obamacare numbers to project to get the thing passed.

I don't envy Plouffe. He won Best of Cannes for his '08 campaign. To do it again, he'll have to be a real genius and able to really think out of the box. His speech didn't give indications of this being the case.

Mrs. P

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.