The Pew Research Center has released a comprehensive 13 question quiz which does a surprisingly good, and broad, job of testing readers' knowledge about "prominent people and major events in the news", and comparing the results to a sample of 1052 people. See how well you fare in comparison to everyone else on topics that are considered mainstream.
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Once done with the quiz, take a look at the answer set: without doubt the most surprising finding is not that Americans continue to be large misinformed about relatively important developments (and would be even more misinformed if there were more questions on monetary or fiscal policy, the petrodollar, the DM-EM "axis-allies" split as shown most recently by the G-20 showed, USD reserve status and all those other things that actually matter), but that the one question answered wrong by most has to do with the performance of the Dow Jones:
It is stunning that only 18% of quiz-taking females and 24% of males, and only 32% of those with a college/grad+ education, can identify what the stock market has done in the past 5 years.
If anything this is the prima facie evidence why QE has failed: for a program whose primary purpose was to restore confidence in the economy through a rising stock market, even if manipulated through and through, the reason why there has been no confidence restored is because about 80% of the population neither knows nor cares that the DJIA is now just a fraction off its all time highs. And without the "confidence" boost arising from that particular "monetary transmission channel", which is the only real weapon left in the Fed's arsenal, there is little hope of boosting confidence in the economy through other more conventional means. Which is precisely what we said would happen in March 2009 when this deplorable monetary experiment was launched.