How The Media Convinces Americans The Economy Is Strong When It’s Not

The major media have clearly become cheerleaders in convincing Americans that the economy is improving under President Barack Obama. CNN Money recently reported that 52 percent of Americans think the economy is good. This is part of a trend in the mainstream media where perception of the economy, based on polling data, is trumpeted in place of real economic data in an attempt to convince us that the economy is strong when it is not.

The Bureau of Labor statistics reports that 93.1 million (Civilian noninstitutional population minus Civilian labor force) adults able to work are out of work, and the Labor Force Participation Rate is lower than it has been in decades, at 62.7 percent. Those statistics, that present the economic reality, are glossed over by the media by reports that present a rosy picture of the economy that lead to positive numbers in the polling data.

“Americans are the most optimistic since before the Great Recession, and it’s good news for the White House and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. On top of that, Americans think the sunny economy will keep going. Over two-thirds of those polled believe the economy will be in good shape a year from now, compared with 38 [percent] who say it will be in poor shape,” CNN Money reported.

“Rising confidence can be self-reinforcing, driving stronger growth in the future as people and businesses spend more.”

So, it appears by reporting positive economic news, based on survey data of the public’s perception of the economy rather than any reporting of hard economic data, the media outlets appears to believe they can inspire public confidence in the economy that will actually result in real improvement of the economy.

“Michael Snyder recently noted that the unemployment numbers are a massive lie. One cannot cite job creation as a measure of economic health without also mentioning job losses and population growth rates,” DC Clothesline reports. “Since 2008, according to Snyder, our population has grown by 16.8 million people but there has been a net loss of 140,000 jobs. It’s also important to note that the jobs which have been created are most part-time or low wage. Moreover, the reason the official unemployment rate is going down is because the government considers millions of long-term unemployed workers to ‘no longer be in the labor force.’ Currently a record 101.6 million working age Americans are not working.”

The reported growth rate in the country’s Gross Domestic Product of 2.4 percent, as DC Clothesline points out, is offset by the highest rate of inflation, as officially reported. While the media trumpets the anemic 2.4 percent growth rate as good news, it neglects to report how that is more than offset by inflation.

The latest official unemployment rate reported by the Department of Labor is 5.5 percent, but what does this number actually mean? What it really means is of those who are currently working, and those registered as unemployed and seeking work, 5.5 percent are the ones registered and unemployed and seeking work. All the tens of millions of able-bodied adults who are no longer registered as unemployed, or who have given up looking for work, are no longer counted as being “unemployed” by the government. This convenient little trick of not counting those 93.1 million Americans make the unemployment rate calculate to 5.5 percent rather than closer to 30 percent. By giving the media a 5.5 percent number to claim as the official unemployment rate, the perception of the economy created by that number is far more rosy than the reality.

The “disappointing” March jobs report put the Federal Bank on notice, the Inquisitr reported earlier this month. That report said the economy created only 126,000 jobs in March of this year, which was half of what analysts had expected. But despite this poor performance, the official unemployment rate had remained at 5.5 percent.

Another illustration of economic reality, as the Washington Post reported on recently, is the increasing number of small businesses closing against a small number of new small businesses being started.

“In part, that’s because the number of new businesses has steadily declined. Data from 2011 showed that only 8 percent of companies are less than one year old, down from 15 percent of all firms back in the late 1970s, with a particularly sharp decline taking place during and in the years immediately following the Great Recession,” the Washington Post reported. “Meanwhile, the number of young firms going under within the first few years has increased. Consequently, for the first time in 30 years, business deaths now outnumber business births, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.”

The media can’t spin that into good news. Small businesses creates most jobs, and when more small businesses are closing than are starting, that only can lead to more real unemployment in reality.

[Picture of President Obama from CNN Money]