had an interesting front page “analysis” by Neil Irwin this morning:

“Why We’re Gloomier Than The Economy: Consumer Anxiety Outstrips the Data.”

Earth to Neil: Citizens can Read.

They can read the headlines we noted in the recent post “HEADLINES, HEADLINES.”

They can read the other headlines on today’s front page of WaPo and every other MainStream Media Outlet:

“Iowa Flooding Could Be An Act of Man, Experts Say” and citizens know the era of Corps of Engineer ‘flood control’ providing ‘protection’ is past. They can shoot all the pigs on levies they want but the water will keep rising because the there is no storage area.

“Bush Calls for Offshore Oil Drilling, President Joins McCain in Seeking to Lift Long-Standing Ban” and citizens know Bush, McCain and Car Tax Gilmore all would like to barrow from the great grand children to buy a new belt instead of the addressing the consumption / obesity problem.

Citizens also know the economic data is cooked to make a ‘growth is good’ stew. All the economists MainStream Media quotes are paid directly or indirectly by the Business-As-Usual advocates who thrive on ever-expanding levels of consumption.

Finally, more and more citizens are coming to realize that MainStream Media is also an Enterprise that lives on advertising by those same Business-As-Usual advocates. See THE ESTATES MATRIX


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  1. “Citizens also know the economic data is cooked to make a ‘growth is good’ stew.”

    And all headlines are all designed to scare people and sell newspapers.

    Like this one from the September 20, 1922 edition of the New York times:
    “PENGUIN STARTLES FRANCE / Bird Seen as Ice-Age Harbinger”

    or the March 7, 1876 editorial where the paper gave itself a pat on the back for stopping the construction of the Panama Canal, with choice lines like: “At any rate, Ottawa and the City of London need not fear immediate destruction. The canal will not be cut for some years to come….” (You see, allowing the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to meet would cause CLIMATE CATASTROPHE.)

    Your posts have much in common with the paper of record — whether from the 19th, 20th or 21st Century. That commonality is the celebration of bad news and the thwarting of economic growth and life itself.

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    “Citizens also know the economic data is cooked to make a ‘growth is good’ stew.”


    How do they know that economic data is not also cooked to make a ‘growth is bad’ stew?

    Even you seem to think that growth is good in some times and some places.

    Are these the same citizens who are too stupid to know or understand almost anything else?

    Where do they learn all this stuff? From PEC advertising, and other frequently quoted special interest flacks?

    I think I’m trying to agree with what I think you are trying to say, but I can’t get past the BS alarm that goes off when there is this much distortion in the carrier signal.

    Why try to alienate half the people you want to make your point to? You don’t think there are people who are environmentlaly sensitive, who still advertise to stay in businesss and make profits?


    “Iowa Flooding Could Be An Act of Man, Experts Say”

    Yeah, or it could be record amounts of rain had something to do with it. And the rain is a result of global warming, and we all know that’s manmade.

    Lets kill off a few men, and see if that solves the problem.


    These guys are experts and all they can say is “Could Be?”

    I’d like my experts to do a little better than that. OK, 75 percent of Indiana is under corn, and we’ve lost 50% of the states wetlands. Corn is now $8 a bushel. How much will it be if you revert corn back to wetlands?


    I support a floodplain national park. You get flooded three times and you are out. We buy up your property, and you move to higher ground.

    That way, we don’t need to take every floodplain out of circulation, just the ones that actually flood.

    We don’t have to know or care, why they flood. You flood, you are part of the park. If the cause is manmade, well, all the people outside the park are the ones who wind up paying to buy up your property. THEN they can use your property for proper drainage of their property.


    One of the other causes mentioned is that the rivers are filling up with silt. This raises up the bottom of the river, and therefore the top, in order to keep the same flow capacity.

    I’ve made this argument before and been shouted down, but shucks, I got the idea from Mark Twain, who explained it in “Life on the Mississippi”. Go argue with him.

    How much of silting is manmade and how much is natural?

    “Natural” silting causes natural levees which build up until they cause new places to flood. Just like manmade ones.

    Either that or natural siltation gets washed out by natural floods and gets put someplace else. Just like a hydraulic barge does.


    The problem with the Floodplain national park is that you evetually wind up with your riverfront cities located where they are only “on the river” every three hundred years or so.

    It kind of cuts down on their utility.


  3. Anonymous Avatar

    I see bob beat me to it in pointing out that bad advertising is bad advertising, no matter where it comes from, or what the intentions.


  4. Anonymous Avatar

    Instead of us buying a floodplain national park so we can drain all we like, there is another alternative.

    The river front cities could buy up a bunch of farmland and turn it into wetlands to protect their cities.

    Nahh, we can just pass a law against farming anyplace that might help protect us (every hundred years or so): that won’t cost us anything.


  5. Anonymous Avatar

    Let me see. I got a chance to make some short term profit on cheap oil that will make me a million bucks. With a little luck I can flip that a few tmes (on foreclosed homes or something) and make a couple more million.

    Then I can leave the whole bit to my great grandchildren, with interest.

    Or I can freeze in the dark and save the oil for the great grandchildren so they can use it for a quick buck.


    Except they won’t, because they’ll be saving it for their grandchildren.

    When Ben Franklin made his famous bequest, he at least had the sense to put term limits on it.


  6. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    On the other hand .. yet another perspective:


    How Trade Shaped the World”

    By William J. Bernstein

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