Americans are founding fewer households these days. No one is telling them not to move back in with mom and dad, no one is keeping squabbling marrieds from getting divorced, but people are responding directly to the stimulus of news that the economy is in trouble with no end in sight for quite a while.
Needless to say this behavior pattern which we will categorize as risk aversion does not help the economy. In this sense it is perverse behavior, but completely understandable. Lemmings leave wherever they were because they "feel" the impact of their population on resources (presumably), so their "quorum sensing" is not perverse, only their single-minded hurling themselves off cliffs into oblivion is. Viruses take on different roles when they "sense" that with their critical mass of numbers they will be able to accomplish what was impossible with fewer.
Democracy is an institution for quorum sensing in a way. Without democracy who would know what other members of a population are "sensing," "feeling," or thinking? We, our species, has just recently (in bio/geological time frames) acquired the ability and temperament for democracy. You can see from the daily news that the decision-making process is not as well developed as the general scheme of democracy. Partly this is because we are seeing ultra fine details of the processes and have feed-forward and feed-back negotiations and conversations about them.