Skip to comments.WSJ: Media Bears - Why 1/3 of Americans think we're in recession when the economy is booming.
Posted on 08/19/2005 5:22:29 AM PDT by OESY
The paradox of the year is why so many Americans tell pollsters they feel bad about an economy that's been so good, with solid job growth and corporate profits, rising wages and home prices, and a huge decline in the budget deficit. Perhaps one reason is because the media keep saying the economy stinks.
That's the conclusion of... the Media Research Center, which finds that so far this year 62% of the news stories on the Big Three TV networks have portrayed the U.S. economy in negative fashion. The "negative full length TV news stories on the economy outnumbered positive stories by an overwhelming ratio of 4 to 1," the MRC reports.
...[A] CBS Evening News story on July 22 said that the economy is "very tenuous. It could fall apart at any moment. One piece of bad news, one additional terrorist attack, one negative corporate earnings, and it goes right down again." Contrast that funeral dirge with what Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress that same day: "The outlook is one of sustained economic growth."...
Media coverage of President Bush's tax cuts has been particularly slanted. During the 2003 tax-cut debate, three of every four major TV network news stories were negative. The favorite criticisms were liberal echoes that it would bust the budget and favor the rich. Earlier this year, a news story on National Public Radio announced that "as everyone knows, the primary cause of the budget deficit was the Bush tax cuts." No word yet on whom NPR is crediting with this year's revenue surge of $262 billion. Robert Rubin?
Given all of this doom-and-gloom reporting, maybe the surprise is that Americans are nonetheless behaving with their typical optimism, buying goods and services, bidding up the stock market, and creating new businesses....
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
They are not reachable and I don't see any reason to bother.
The stock market has not moved up that much. The reason why 1/3 of the population thinks it is a recession is because of their decline in buying power. Mainly because they have not gotten the wage increase that others have and because of the increasingly high gas prices.
But the MSM only covers high gas prices, not good jobs reports or rising productivity. There are academic studies that confirm this, especially during a GOP administration, when they are FAR more likely to report bad news over good.
Fixed income is also pretty tough. Finding investment vehicles with a decent return has gotten harder and harder to do.
The inflationary increases take a toll on retirees.
Probably because 1/3 of Americans are actually economically literate. They understand the overwhelming trade and current account deficits. They realize that the massive amounts of credit creation by the Fed (to boost the housing market) is doing great damage to America's international competitiveness.
I was reading newsweek/time magazine at the gym. They have a section with the up/down arrow about people in the news. Bush or someone in the administration always has a down arrow. A has been dem. always has an up arrow.
Here are the Dow, the Nasdaq, and the S&P for the last five years:
Source: Yahoo! Finance
The mainstream media will do anything to try and make the President look bad.
I'd like to give the has-been Dems an up arrow, you know where.
As usual, the agenda of the MSM is about its business of deceiving the public to defeat the current administration. Furthermore, the activity in the stock market, which is been quite positive, portends economic prosperity at least for the next 6 months.
One could say that in 1933 only one fourth of Americans were out to lunch. The difference is that people today are further apart one from another. So the situation is peachy if you are not directly affected. This is demonstrated by the several posts on FR by people who gaze into their navel for inspiration.
Some data from the 1920s (TIMELINES OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION:
Organized labor declines throughout the 1920s. The United Mine Workers Union have seen its membership fall from 500,000 in 1920 to 75,000 in 1928. The American Federation of Labor fell from 5.1 million in 1920 to 3.4 million in 1929.
By 1929, the richest 1 percent owned 40 percent of the nation's wealth. The bottom 93 percent had experienced a 4 percent drop in real disposable per-capita income between 1923 and 1929.
Over the decade of 1920s, about 1,200 mergers swalled up more than 6,000 previously independent companies; by 1929, only 200 corporations controled over half of all American industry.
Individual worker productivity rised an astonishing 43 percent from 1919 to 1929. But the rewards were being funneled to the top: the number of people reporting half-million dollar incomes grew from 156 to 1,489 between 1920 and 1929, a phenomenal rise compared to other decades. But that was still less than 1 percent of all income-earners.
In 1922 The conservative Supreme Court stroke down federal child labor legislation.
In 1923 President Warren Harding dies in office; his administration was easily one of the most corrupt in American history. Calvin Coolidge, who is squeaky clean by comparison, becomes president. Coolidge is no less committed to laissez-faire and a non-interventionist government. He announces to the American people: "The business of America is business." Supreme Court nullifies minimum wage for women in District of Columbia.
In 1924 the stock market begins its spectacular rise. Bears little relation to the rest of the economy.
In 1925 The top tax rate is lowered to 25 percent - the lowest top rate in the eight decades since World War I. Supreme Court rules that trade organizations do not violate anti-trust laws as long as some competition survives.
In 1928 Between May 1928 and September 1929, the average prices of stocks rises 40 percent. Trading mushroomed from 2-3 million shares per day to over 5 million.
In 1929 Herbert Hoover becomes President. Hoover is a staunch individualist but not as committed to laissez-faire ideology as Coolidge.
For 1933, unemployment rises to 23.6 percent.
Two crucial difference - US economy is now very dependent on foreign production and we have huge flood of illegal immigrants.
One other crucial difference is that the U.S. today is far less likely to engage in the stupid measures that FDR implemented in the 1930s to "fix" the Great Depression -- which ended up making the Depression far worse than it would have otherwise been.
Most of that third post to FR under the Buchanan flag.
The biggest taboo in the USA is for the press and even conservative columnists to tell it straight . . .
ignorance runs rampant in the USA.
It gets worse every year with the population boom of illegal aliens and a high population birth from public school grads.
For politically correct reasons, rare is it that any commentator tell the truth--America is a highly ignorant society.
I'd be careful about calling it a "huge flood of illegal immigrants," as if those folks just sorta came here unbidden. They don't: Americans pay them to come here.
I think in a sense it's a slightly different form of outsourcing for things like agriculture, while still maintaining the production facilities (i.e., the fields) within the US.
The lessons here are pretty obvious, if unpleasant:
2) By choosing to outsource, American businessmen so focused on short-term results that they cannot see the long-term implications of lesson #1.