I have several liberal friends who, though invested in the market, seem to be almost pulling for a downturn.
They believe, in my opinion, that the hit would be worth it for the long-term, greater good—and, on top of that, they simply don’t see how the market can continue to chug along well with economic policies of which they strongly disapprove.
Something similar can be seen in a recent NPR segment headlined “America Is in Full Employment, So Why Aren’t We Celebrating?”
On the other hand, most everyday Americans are happily aware of the booming jobs market, especially in a celebratory mood are those who struggled for work during the Obama years and now have jobs.
Merline credits NPR for at least admitting that the economy is going gangbusters. But then he observes NPR’s—uh—reticence about the state of our flourishing economy:
“Why doesn’t today’s full employment come with effervescence?” reporters Pallavi Gogoi and Scott Horsley ask.
But while the reporters do a good job of describing the widespread benefits of the current economy, they also manage, in asking that question, to expose the extreme bias at work among the overwhelming majority of their colleagues in the press.
“Unemployment has reached a nearly 50-year low. The jobless rate for Hispanics has never been lower; the past two years have been the best job market ever for African Americans. Wages are starting to rise — and, more significantly, for the lowest-paid workers. That may not endure, but it’s a reversal of the long-term trend where the most highly paid workers were also the best rewarded. The job market today is so hot that groups that were sort of on the margins also are finding opportunities — including people with disabilities or a prison record.”
Did you get all that? Wages are rising for the lowest-paid workers. Minority groups have never had it so good. People at the margins are getting pulled back into the labor market.
So why, they ask, is the country “not quite exuding the self-possession or excitement that should accompany these exceptional times.”
But regular people who do not belong to the media elite are excited.
The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index as at 58.6 — a fifteen year high. It was at 50 for President Obama’s two terms.
Also at a fifteen-year high is the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index.
So, really, it’s the media and people like my liberal friends who aren’t exuding confidence.
Merline explains the elite failure to respond to the current economy:
The fact that the NPR reporters aren’t aware of this shift in confidence says more about the bubble they live in than what is actually happening in the country.
Inside this bubble, it’s all doom and gloom, anger and frustration, and an absolute fixation on driving President Trump from office. The idea that people are happy is alien because, inside the bubble, nobody is. The closest they get is to say that “anger over politics may be skewing views of the economy.”
That is why, in detailing the “exceptional times” we live in today, the NPR reporters never once mention what has contributed significantly to bringing them about. Namely, President Trump’s economic policies of tax cuts and deregulation.
Nor do they cast an eye on their own profession. If there’s not dancing in the streets, it’s because the mainstream press refuses to cover the economy. Or if they do, they fixate on the negative.
This bias isn’t new, by the way. In the early 1990s, coverage of the economy suddenly turned overwhelmingly positive in 1993. That, of course, was the year control of the White House shifted from Republican to Democratic hands.
Throughout President Obama’s eight years, reporters tried desperately to put a happy face on a gloomy and historically anemic economic recovery.
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