I have been out of academia and working for think tanks for a while now, and so I may have a better ear for the changing climate than those of you still grading papers. “Real people” are a lot more receptive to thinking hard about economic issues lately, for obvious reasons.
To give a concrete example, the op ed below (sorry for self-promo) involves a fair amount of concentration to follow. I really don’t think the AJC would have run something like this during normal times, because it’s too abstract/geeky.
Based not just on emails from Mises.org readers, but just casual conversation with people I know outside of work, etc., I think a lot of people are really starting to learn that “the experts” don’t have a clue what is going on. And since this will affect their 401(k)s etc., the average people are actually interested in the issue and will listen if someone explains things.