November 30, 2005

Funny, Funny Stuff: The NYT Spins The Booming Economy As A Very Bad Thing
— Ace

Thanks to Dr. Reo Symes.

The childish pettiness of the complaints should tell you the economy's doing pretty damn well:

Upbeat Signs Hold Cautions for the Future

Even the headlines is pretty funny. It's seriously suggesting that "upbeat signs" are a cause for "caution."

You know what are usually a cause for caution? Downbeat signs. But maybe that's just me.

Gasoline is cheaper than it was before Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans. Consumer confidence jumped last month and new- home sales hit a record. The stock market has been rising. Even the nation's beleaguered factories seem headed for a happy holiday season.

By most measures, the economy appears to be doing fine. No, scratch that, it appears to be booming.

Indeed, the government today revised economic growth for the third quarter to an annual pace of 4.3 percent, up from an earlier estimate of 3.8 percent and far higher than the 4 percent most analysts had expected. The revision was driven by even stronger consumer spending than earlier thought. Personal consumption rose by 4.2 percent, up from the 3.9 percent initial reading, the Department of Commerce reported.

But as always with the United States economy, it is not quite that simple.

Oh? It's "always" less than simple? The NYT sure seemed to think it was a pretty simple thing under Clinton.

For every encouraging sign, there is an explanation and concern for the future. Consumer confidence is bouncing back from what were arguably some of its worst readings in years.

This is, as a commenter put it, straining a muscle to find something bad to say.
The author just promised us that for each and every "encouraging sign" there would be either a "concern" or an "explanation."

Note how blithely the writer lumps those two in together as if they're the equivalent -- they're not. A "concern" is a downbeat sign, as was promised by the headline. An "explanation" is just an, um, explanation.

It's like saying that getting a raise comes with either a concern or an explanation, and in this case, you got your raise because of good performance. Well, yes, that is in fact EITHER a "concern" or "explanation." Specifically, the latter. There's just nothing bad about that explanation.

Continuing with this nonsense:

Gasoline prices - the national average is now $2.15, according to the Energy Information Administration - have fallen because higher prices held down demand and Gulf Coast supplies have been slowly restored.

I don't see a "concern" here. I see a pair of "explanations" that do absolutely nothing to dampen the genuinely good news about the economy-- although the writer continues straining to suggest just that.

There are many reasons the price of crude might fall... well, two reasons, actually: falling demand and rising supply. The writer notes, shockingly, that the price is oil is falling because both reasons are present.

This is a cause for "concern"?

Of course not. The writer can't say much bad about it and so slips it in as an "explanation" which is, for reasons I'm still not clear, a reason for "concern."

And etc. It's just too silly.

It spins the projected 3.6% 2006 growth rate as somehow weak. Clinton, of course, was feted for numerous years of 3.6% (or less) growth.

The only real "concern" mentioned is the possibility that the Fed will raise interest rates so high as to flatline the economy. Yes, they might, but they're not out to destroy the economy, and if they overshoot on the interest rates, they can always bring it back down.

Given that inflation came in lower than expectations (something the article fails to mention) it would seem reasonable to be somewhat optimistic about interest rates.

Posted by: Ace at 09:42 AM | Comments (17)
Post contains 646 words, total size 4 kb.

1 Yeah, that headline is positively Milbankian.

Posted by: Dr. Reo Symes at November 30, 2005 09:48 AM (kUNrb)

2 Make no mistake, the MO for the MSM will be to talk down the economy for the next 12 months in an attempt to depress the equity markets (they have done quite well thus far). The DOW must continue to flat-line, the Google good news must not spread to other tech issues, there can be no boom in the stock market corresponding to the current boom in the economy - Democratic chances in 2006 are riding on it.

Posted by: Gern Blanstein at November 30, 2005 10:09 AM (2GPqi)

3 You know, you have not had an open thread on this site for a few days. Time for one!

Yes, indeedy.

Posted by: Mark at November 30, 2005 10:15 AM (XSi5N)

4 It is so, so, SO GOOD to be an American right now.
And even better to be a conservative.

If you have to eviscerate good news, life ain't that bad.

Its party time.
I can hardly wait for the decadent 80's fashions to come back again too.
I've got a boxy, asymmetrical shirt aging gracefully in the back of the closet for just that occasion.

Posted by: lauraw at November 30, 2005 10:50 AM (CAzC7)

5 lauraw,

And my hot rollers are just itching for the big hair to come back!

Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at November 30, 2005 10:55 AM (OSolv)

6 You guys are so "angry."

Posted by: ace at November 30, 2005 10:58 AM (UxtY9)

7 So does this mean it's the Decade of Greed again?

Posted by: Sobek at November 30, 2005 11:00 AM (6GK9U)

8 Oh I certainly hope so, Mr. Sobek.

Posted by: OregonMuse at November 30, 2005 11:03 AM (FA1TN)

9 What this country needs, is for parachute pants to come back.

Then I'll know the good times are rollin'.

Nothing says "it's a good time to be conservative" like the swish, swish sound of thousands of ripstop nylon-clad walking thighs rubbing together.

Posted by: Rocketeer67 at November 30, 2005 11:21 AM (GFaLW)

10 Of course the economy is cause for concern. If the Amerikkkan sheeple think things are good, they might not put us back into power!!!!!

Posted by: fretless at November 30, 2005 11:22 AM (twzGk)

11 Gloom on the economy has been a staple of the Donks ever since Jimmah gave his famous "malaise" speech. Our economy follows a boom/bust cycle just like every other market economy, but with one difference: we've reached a point where the "busts" are shallow and the "booms" more like sustained plateaus. That's why Krugman's endless predictions of a fiscal Armageddon have yet to come to pass.

I do worry about the reliance our retail sector has on Chinese goods. Nearly every non-food retail item you buy these days -- toys, electronics, clothes, even (for the love of pete!) furniture -- is manufactured in some Chinese factory. It bothers me to be so in thrall to a country that is, lest we forget, a Communist dictatorship with a terrible human-rights record. (And a pretty crummy environmental safety record...)

Posted by: Monty at November 30, 2005 11:39 AM (UdJCa)

12 I don't know if the economic growth will continue, but just to be on the safe side I'm getting all my old "Soft Cell" albums out of storage. For me - like most Americans - nothing celebrates "booming economy" quite like Tainted Love on repeat.

Posted by: Sobek at November 30, 2005 12:26 PM (6GK9U)

13 RWS, are you trying to say that big hair is OUT??

Shit.

Posted by: lauraw at November 30, 2005 03:53 PM (ywZa8)

14 Well, big hair is never out for smart confident women....;-)

You should see my acting shots from the 80's. I have that dynasty look going. Too funny.

Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at November 30, 2005 04:21 PM (OSolv)

15 huh? where am I?

Posted by: uhh at November 30, 2005 05:55 PM (6krEN)

16 what kind of place is this!? someone help me!

Posted by: uhh at November 30, 2005 06:00 PM (6krEN)

17 I'm frightened

Posted by: uhh at November 30, 2005 06:00 PM (6krEN)

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