Zeitgeist analysis, 19 April 2009

Has someone been gaming the system? Are the tea parties actually working? Suddenly this week, tax appears out of nowhere to reach number three in the economics zeitgeist list.

Or it could just be April 15, American tax return submission day, and economists all over the nation are blogging about how much money they made from their textbooks this year. Income has jumped 200 places to number 34 and taxes 244 places to 54.

Other moves in the top twenty:
  • US down one to 4
  • market and people steady at 5 and 7
  • financial up two to 6
  • government falls five places to number 9
  • money and price are both up two places
  • economy falls three and economic one place
  • years is up seven to 17
Some big rises among words that look meaningful: credit up 25 to 28, policy up 34 to 29 and oil up 50 to 30. On the other hand rate is down 20 to 45, public down 14 to 60 and crisis down 55 to 98.

My favourite numbers: billion is down 25 to 52, million down 19 to 56 and trillion down 107 to 467.

Maybe cooperation is a hot topic: individual is up 146 places, common is up 138 and social up 80. Then again, companies and businesses are both down while company and business are up.

Highest new entry and company of the week is Goldman at 212 (Sachs is also new at 572). Other notable entrants are environmental at 314, stress at 408, tea at 422 and kids at 429 (??) Pirates also makes an appearance at 851.

International moves: international is down 52, global down 46, world down 2 (but this is still a relatively big move because it is at number 14), UK down 436, Israel down 414, European down 176, Iran down 133 and China down 56 at 202. The US is down one at number 4, but no other country even appears except Europe which is up 61 to 693. The rest of the world clearly isn't popular.

A new feature for this week is Preposition Watch. While is up 3, still is down 3. Between steady at 41. Through is down 27 but before is up 25. Off is up 33 and under down 30. During falls 38 and enough soars 119 places to 201. Not strictly prepositions, but past is up 93, future up 51 and present up 183.

Do let me know if Preposition Watch is popular, because I have my doubts. It may be killed if there isn't a petition within the week.

Green shoots watch: GDP is up 46, profit and profits are both new entries, and loss is down 148. Unfortunately losses is up 43, recession up 11 and recovery down 53, so let's not count on it yet.

Obama continues to decline at 124, while Bush has entered at number 813. Bernanke is up 200 at 663 but there don't seem to be any other people at all, unless you count Messrs Goldman, Sachs and Bloomberg. We do have John, Paul, George and...not Ringo, but David and Mike. Professor, Mr and President also make an appearance.

On a slightly (but only slightly) more serious point, the entrance of environmental has led a few others: carbon, oil, gas, water and solar are all rising and gasoline is new. Perhaps this is pointing to a more substantive conversation about environmental economics. Come back next week and see if it continues.


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