I’m so genuinely impressed by all of you. Every week, I get the most insightful and thought-provoking email replies – some perspective on our data I never thought of, an occasional well-deserved correction, or a brilliant idea for new research.
The mere fact that you spend a few moments of your Saturday morning reading something other than Facebook or Barstool tells me you are a bigger luminary than I’ll ever be. You’re wise and eager to get wiser, which surely makes you an exemplary person, parent, friend, coworker, and life partner. You are truly amazing.
Feel better about yourself? Good, because I need a favor.
We’re trying to grow the readership of this thing and I refuse to do any kind of tacky advertising push. Just tacky begging. It’s all been organic thus far and I want to keep it that way.
So, here’s an easy little sign-up link (which is also at the bottom of this email every week, by the way).
I would be eternally grateful if you passed it along to your colleagues and cousins, shared it on your social coordinates, or just tattooed it on your neck. Maybe an effusive comment about how it changed your life or something. Nothing too over-the-top. A sonnet would be cool. You knowwhat I’m saying.
And whichever one of you drives the most sign-ups will receive a lifetime supply, compliments of CivicScience, of absolutely nothing. Because we have no way of tracking it. Which also means I’ll never know if you did anything or not. So, you can just do nothing, tell me you did something, and I’ll shower you with praise and gratitude anyway. Everybody wins.
Just don’t forward this email. Because I wouldn’t want them thinking I grovel like this all the time. Or ever, really.
But yeah, thanks for making me feel comfortable enough to even ask. You’re a good human.
Here’s what we’re seeing this week:
One of the hidden trends in our wild socio-cultural-political chaos today is a growing sense of safety and security across the country. This past quarter, the percentage of Americans who were “very concerned” about terrorism and national security threats fell to its lowest level since we began tracking it more than seven years ago. Maybe people are so thrilled about the economy that they’re just not worried about anything raining on the parade. Or, maybe it’s just been a long time since anything bad has happened (knock on wood). In either case, I’m not normally the first one to give the current administration credit for things, but here it’s probably warranted. People feel secure – or oblivious. Just don’t let your guard down.
Most of you probably don’t think it’s a great time to find a new job right now. You may recall a couple weeks ago when I showed you how much LinkedIn usage has climbed over the past year and I wondered whether it was a reliable, lagging economic indicator. It appears to be, but not exactly as I’d thought. Take a look below at our job market question (one of the ingredients of our Economic Sentiment Index), segmented only among people in professional, management, and technical-type jobs – the types you’d most often find on LinkedIn. Job optimism peaked in Q1 of 2018, then began falling. We started seeing LinkedIn usage pick up in Q2. It seems the correlation might be counter-intuitive (to me anyway). People aren’t flocking to LinkedIn because it’s easy to find a job but because it’s so competitive.
Younger Millennials really love their iPhones. Our crusade to end lazy generational marketing reached a new destination this week, as we looked at the differences between younger (25-29) and older (30-34) Millennials and their shopping preferences. A few surprises: Younger Ms are slightly more likely to shop in-store and have a more favorable view toward Walmart. One noticeable trend is that Younger Ms are much more likely to have iPhones – at Samsung’s expense – than their older counterparts. I wondered if it was a life-stage thing – like maybe parents were more likely to move to Samsung. But no. Apple is winning with younger people and it’s only going to get worse for Samsung if they don’t do something.
Marijuana legalization could be a gold mine for the life insurance industry. This makes perfect sense, the more you think about it. Our data tell us that about 64% of US adults have life insurance and another 9% are considering it. Twenty-eight percent are just stupid – you should have life insurance. Anyway, one of the biggest factors driving people away from life insurance is the “intimidation” of the process, i.e. applying, tests, etc. And you know who really avoids life insurance tests? People with weed in their systems who are afraid of getting busted. Imagine how that’s going to change.
Speaking of drugs, younger generations are changing the market for OTC meds. I was surprised to learn that the majority of U.S. adults prefer store-brand over-the-counter medications over brand-name products like Advil, Zyrtec, or the like. Naturally, cost has a lot to do with it, but the age correlations are interesting too. The popularity of name-brand drugs peaks among Baby Boomers then falls precipitously with each age group after. Perhaps those Boomers have just been conditioned to trust those household names. This trend could have huge long-term implications for the brand-name OTC manufacturers.
And here are your most popular poll questions for the week:
Hoping you’re well.
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