I saw where there was a deliberate campaign to stoke doubt and self-loathing into the American psyche more than four years ago. That campaign has been very successful. It's being pushed by those that think the world should have a single, non-religious, government that hands down rules based on an interpretation of fairness rather than merit. It would be a world stripped of ambition and individualism.
I think our stock market is beginning to reflect the success of that campaign in America through the lack of volume. We have hit that stage that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called "apathy" in work life but in our society writ large.
When we love our work, we reach that state of "flow" (see above), and I suspect if there was the same satisfaction with the direction of the country there would be a similar state of flow and it would reverberate in the aura of the nation and volume in the stock market. Each day, that optimal state of intrinsic motivation is being stripped away with comments from President Obama like "you didn't build that" or "successful people have no values." Coupled with movie themes, television themes, and natural frustration that comes with a never-ending recession, and we have lost our state of concentration.
America is needs that feeling of great absorption, engagement and fulfillment, and to encourage and celebrate skill before we completely forget how to do those things.
The stock market can continue to climb even as Americans wallow in loathing, but that would only point to a shift in the global psychology of optimal experience. I fret about rallies on low volume because it means sharp pullbacks on bad news, but I fret more because it means more and more Americans have fallen into the trap designed to strip away our greatness.
NEW TIME Today, at 9:30 AM PT: Get the Market Movements in Advance; Williams Edge Webinar for January 28th 2014 | John Ransom