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Floyd Ciruli's
Ins and Outs for the New Year

2001 was a watershed year for Americans. It was the year we lost our decade-long grip on economic prosperity and became reacquainted with terms such as “deficits, layoffs, and recession.” It was the year we witnessed the reversal of dot com fortunes, and lost the euphoria of paper profits from profit less start-ups.

And it was the year of September 11, when America learned a lesson it had all but forgotten: that we are vulnerable and life can change in an instant. The following list captures the instantaneous change that followed Sept. 11, both politically and socially. It’s impossible to predict which of the post-Sept. 11 changes will stay in or go out in 2002, except to say the changes thus far have been as dramatic as any in recent memory.

Trends After a Watershed Year
IN Out
Firemen/Police Brokers/Traders
Nurses Starlets
Postal workers Dot com gurus
Sept. 11 Fund Mutual Funds
Bush Clinton
ROTC Berkeley
New York Hollywood
Family Career
National indentity Ethnic identity
Patriotism Cynicism
Business cycle 40-yr. old retirees
Deficits Surplus
Wal-Mart Prada
Profiling ACLU
Flags Protest marchers
U.S. Army Dick Armey
Military officers College professors
Bible sales Jerry Falwell
Nesting Travel
Religious tolerance Religious rule
Russia Saudi Arabia
Giuliani Giuliani

Pollster Floyd Ciruli’s list of the ins and outs as America begins 2002

Sept. 11 demonstrated that a single event can catapult little-noticed trends and usher in a new direction. After nearly a decade of prosperity and minimal interference from foreign conflicts in domestic pursuits, the country faces a recession of unknown duration and depth and the danger of terror both here and abroad. The 1990s effectively ended on Sept. 11, 2001–a date that joins Dec. 7, 1941, and Nov. 23, 1963, as personal and historic turning points in which prior events are hard to recall and succeeding events can seem surreal and more intense.

The “2002 Ins and Outs” capture the extraordinary changes in America since Sept. 11:

Service workers, police, firefighters, nurses and postal workers are in and are the heroes of the ‘90s; stock brokers, traders, the glamour set and dot com gurus are out.

Patriotism, flags, ROTC and military officers are in. Out are cynicism, Berkeley, CA (home of the only “no” vote for defense appropriations and opposition to flag waving), college professors (post-modern humanities and anti-American foreign policy profs are on the defensive), and protest marchers. While the U.S. Army is in, Dick Armey is out–retired. Armey's hard-edged conservatism is out and President Bush’s compassionate conservatism is in. Other congressional winners and losers: Nancy Pelosi, a winner as the new Democratic whip, and Gary Condit, a primary loser and very out.

Giuliani may be out of office but is very much in as Time magazine’s “Man of the Year.” Bush, too, has grown in stature with his 80 percent-plus approval ratings. The Clinton era is over. He now spends his time defending his policy on terror and reciting his accomplishments.

Religion is in, as indicated by increased bible sales (although it’s not clear worship is up). Religious tolerance, including of Muslims, is in and religious rule is out. Jerry Falwell is very out. Generosity is in. The Sept. 11 Fund has attracted millions in donations while mutual funds posted record losses in both value and investors.

Network news has been losing out to cable viewers who want breaking news; Fox News’ tabloid format is beating CNN. But the big winner for hard core news hounds is the Internet.
Russia is in and Saudi Arabia is out. It’s possible Iran may be in, but Iraq appears to be way out.

Hollywood, with its celebrity worship and rants against heartland America, is out. New York and family are in. Careerism is out.

National identity is in and ethnic identity is out. Profiling is in as people accept some tightening of civil liberties in war time. The ACLU is out. Initially, partisanship was out but it appears to be creeping back. Incumbents are in for now, but that could change as the election year gears up.

The business cycle is back with a vengeance and 40-year-old retirees are back to work. The economy is suffering. Discount stores, especially ever-present Wal-Mart, are in. Prada and luxury goods stores are out. Finally, deficits are back and the surplus is gone.

In recent years, the changes from one year to the next have been largely consumer or celebrity driven. In contrast, the changes from 2001 to 2002 were vast and fundamental, and reflected a sea-change brought on by Sept. 11.

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