Monday, October 3, 2011

The Voice Not Being Heard

There are all kinds of articles and interview, videos and radio reports about the economy and how Obama is a socialist Kenyan Marxist determined to destroy America in one last mau-mau jihad.

There are precious few items in the media that honestly assess what is going on. I enjoy reading Dean Baker's articles on his blog Beat the Press over at the CEPR (Center for Economic and Policy Research, a progressive economic policy think-tank based in Washington, DC, founded in 1999):
Robert Samuelson's Con Job

Robert Samuelson devoted his column today to decrying the lack of confidence in the U.S. economy. While confidence is indeed low, this largely reflects the prolonged downturn. Contrary to what Samuelson suggests, there is nothing surprising about the lack of confidence given the most prolonged period of high unemployment since the Great Depression.

In fact, given the weakness of demand, consumption and investment are both surprisingly high. The saving rate is hovering near 5.0 percent, well below the pre-bubble average of more than 8.0 percent, suggesting that consumers are more willing to spend relative to their income than was the case in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. The share of GDP devoted to investment in equipment and software is almost back to its pre-recession level.

The obvious problem in the economy, including the low rate of start-ups that is troubling Samuelson, is a lack of demand. This is best met by government stimulus, since government spending puts money in people's pockets and, contrary to what many politicians assert, people do work for the government, which means that the government can create jobs. If the government created enough demand in the economy, as it did during World War II, there is no reason to believe that firms would not invest more and that more start-ups would come into existence.
Measuring public "confidence" is a backward looking indicator. When times are good, confidence is high. When times are bad it is low. A low confidence isn't telling you something about the future. It is telling you about the past. And the wonderful thing about the American media is that the 2001-2008 Republican government under Bush has magically disappeared. He crashed the economy but you would never guess it. Instead, the media is busy selling the idea that the alien imposter with horns growing out of his head, the Kenyan, crashed the economy as part of his socialist jihad against red-blooded Americans.

By the way... have you noticed that Obama has been killing leaders of al Qaeda right, left and centre and getting precious little positive press for it. But when the blowheart Bush did his gunslinger routine of "get him dead or alive" the press fell over itself telling Americans what a swell leader they had. Nuts! Bush wasn't a "leader". He was a fool who created some of the biggest foreign policy mistakes in America's history and topped that off with business and regulatory decisions that destroyed $11 trillion worth of wealth.

I personally think Obama falls short as a leader, but he is head and shoulders above Bush. I can disagree with Obama but at least feel he is trying to do the right thing. Bush was a phony. He lied. He destroyed. He ran the military into the ground. He wrecked the economy. But Bush gets a pass from the media while they gang up on Obama.

Were is the voice of reason, or policy debate, in the American media? It has been quashed by right wing fanatics who spew propaganda and lies. Even the "mainstream" media is so far right that if it were taken back fifty years people would find it outrageously partisan.

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