Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Grasping at straws

By Capt. Fogg

During the last recession, the Folks at Fox tried to dress up the bad news by claiming that the news was really good and the "Liberals" who owned the rest of the corporate media were only giving us the gloomier stories in order to talk down the economy and smear the glorious name of Emperor George. It seemed to me at the time, that the news was artificially upbeat; calling every 30 point up tick after a 500 point nose dive a "rebound" and it still seems to me that this morning's portion of frozen good cheer fits the pattern.

Retail sales, we're told, are up 0.3% for January after a dismal drop of 0.4% for last December. That's not really very dramatic in my opinion, or at least not enough so as to warrant the 100 point exuberance we see this morning. The Washington Post calls it a "dramatic rebound" none the less. Does it take some of the drama out of the numbers to learn that most of it resulted from the rise in gas prices and not from an increase in the amount of things Americans buy? The figures are not adjusted for price increases and so looking through the dark glass, inflation looks like prosperity.

Some spending undoubtedly results from the frigid weather which can influence people to retire that old car and maybe buy a warmer coat, but is it significant of a "rebound?" Maybe it depends on whether that bit of straw looks like a life ring to a drowning economy.

Cross posted from Human Voices


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't your post be calling for serious reporting and analysis?
Besides, the "liberal media" must be fair and pass along what they're told, right?

10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Serious reporting and analysis. That's not going to happen when the news is just entertainment or when the management has such a vested interest in steering your opinions.

We get lots of serious reporting about Britney and Paris though, We'll always have Paris.

7:48:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

In the immortal words of the town clerk of Cummington, MA at a town meeting I attended -- they can cook the books anyway they want but there just ain't no money in the bank.

7:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all this sort of economy as force of nature bs is ridiculous. economies are good or bad based on the long term policies of the government. which in our case is policing the world and debasing the currency and borrowing to do it

9:51:00 AM  

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