Thursday, August 31, 2006

Americans Hate Their Fabulous Economy (Thanks To The Treason Media!)

While I frequently identify most liberals properly for their fascist beliefs, not all liberals are fascists. (Compare this to the Treason Media refusing to acknowledge that ANY Muslims are terrorists.) One liberal who must have been missing his Kool-Aid rations is a blogger by the handle of "Engram" who says of himself, I am professor at a major research university, a registered Democrat, a liberal by most measures, but a radical conservative relative to the large majority of my colleagues.

Well, this neocon Nazi (as the Left would call him) has posted an interesting piece with graphs that point out that despite economic numbers equivalent to the vaunted "Age of Clinton" economy, Dubya gets no love and people when polled give thru the Looking Glass responses as to whether they're satisfied with the economy.

Polls consistently show that Americans are rather negative about the economy, and many have wondered why that might be considering that our economy is the envy of the world (as well it should be). The source of our pessimism is a bit of a mystery, and it is one that I am going to pursue. For the moment, I'll simply note that I have identified what may be a contributing factor to our unwarranted despair: reporters rarely use charts, and that allows them to wax poetic about the "jobless recovery," "worrisome signs of inflation," "record setting deficits," and other such nonsense. Charts anchor the mind to the raw data, which makes it hard to use bumper-sticker slogans that mislead (and demoralize) more than they clarify. In any story about the economy, there is never an excuse not to use a chart, but reporters almost never do.

So, in 1998 (during the Clinton era), Americans were 65/35 on the optimistic side, but now (during the Bush era) we are 65/35 on the pessimistic side. A complete reversal. Are things really that bad? No. In fact, the evident pessimism is borderline ridiculous, but it's hard to appreciate that unless you look at some simple charts.

[snip - go to the link and see the charts and comments]

Inflation during the Bush administration has been much like it was during the Clinton administration. Even so, back then, we liked the economy. Now we hate it. So, what exactly is the problem? The "record setting" budget deficits, perhaps? Not really. Stagnant wages? Maybe, but I doubt it. I'll take a look at these a bit later, but for now, my point is that any story you read about some aspect of the economy ought to include simple charts like these. Those two stories about budget deficits and stagnant wages -- like almost all stories about the state of economy -- don't do that. You can learn more from a few informative charts than you can from reading the words of a reporter who has an agenda that is advanced, not by showing you the actual numbers, but by using bumper-sticker slogans to create the impression that things are "spiraling out of control." Oh wait, that's the phrase reporters use to characterize Iraq. Well, they don't use charts for that purpose, either (and for the same reason).
Hmmmm....would the Treason Media be lying to us to get us to hate Team Dubya?


Thus comment really pointed up the sneaky methods the Treason Media use to bamboozle their readers/viewers:
Pollster said...

It's entirely due to media bias. Every month a dozen economic statistics come out. Some go up, some go down. Whichever one does worst is the one that gets the most headlines. People don't remember the absolute numbers (and the MSM won't give them charts), but they DO remember the headlines. So in September "gas prices got worse". In October "unemployment got worse". In November "inflation got worse". In December "gas prices got worse" again. HOWEVER, in October and November, gas prices got BETTER, but that news was buried on page A18! Only those with a good memory for numbers will figure this out though. The rest will only remember "down down down down".

At this year's American Association for Public Opinion Research conference, data was presented on perceptions not of how the economy is doing, but whether it is getting worse or better. Republicans sometimes say it is getting worse, sometimes better, and that balances out over several years. Democrats consistently say it is getting worse every single month and have been saying so for several years. If they were correct, we would be in a terrible depression by now. Related data found that Republicans tend to base their perception of how the economy is doing on how they and their neighbors are doing, while Democrats claim to base their perception on "inflation and unemplyment statistics", except they don't REALLY know the actual numbers, they just remember the "worse worse worse worse" headlines and imagine the statistics are bad.
Which drew this follow-up:
Mark said...

It's worse than that. I remember about a year ago, just before Katrina, seeing Bob Schieffer on CBS News report the latest employment numbers. Behind him the graphic showed a jagged, downward pointing line with the the text "Job Losses". And Bob reported a significant increase in job growth.

To say the least, I was stunned with what I saw. How many people heard 100,000 jobs created as being jobs lost?

This was not a momentary "X" over Dick Cheney's face, this was a preplanned story. They knew days in advance what day the job numbers would be released. They knew what the economists were predicting. At the least they should have had two graphics ready. But the Jobs numbers are always released in the morning about eight to nine hours prior to the evening news going live.
How many days until the perky Katie Couric starts her stint in one of the Big Three Big Lie chairs?

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