I can’t help but ramble about media bias. My heartburn is caused by reporting about government debt so please allow me four bullet points to clarify my Curmudgeonly position.
- I think government debt is a bad thing which will bite us on the ass.
- Some folks agree with me. Among those that don’t, some folks might accept my opinion as reasonable. Thinking debt is a bad thing does not inherently relegate one to the status of clueless troglodyte.
- An unbiased media (or even a shadow of one) would occasionally say something good about government fiscal responsibility.
- If a government acted in a fiscally responsible manner (not America of course, we’re running on hope, change, and magic bunnies)…but if any government anywhere actually stayed in the black, the press would be remiss if they didn’t report it…fairly.
I’m not saying I hold a popular opinion. Politicians of both parties have spent like drunken sailors most of my life. This is not a fluke. As much as most politicians act like absurd alien hybrid monsters hatched in a botched lab experiment they were indeed elected. The clueless morons voting citizens and the undead in Chicago got basically what they wanted good and hard. Clearly the “government should live within our means” argument isn’t popular but even unpopular opinions should be reported on their merits and flaws.
One way to examine whether debt is bad or smiling happy puppy vote for us good is to look at what other nations have done and what has happened to them. Luckily (?) there are countless examples of debt hammering a nation. For example; Europe. I believe Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain had some recent financial kerfluffles. So did Iceland. I haven’t checked the news today but last month Paris was afire with riots. Note to France; when tinkering with retirement age causes rampages in your capital city I think debt can be an issue…and your people are in denial. In addition to Europe there are the recent histories of Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Zimbabwe, and my brother’s uncle who lost his truck in a poker game. I’ve got a handle on “lots ‘a debt” examples.
What about governments that put on the brakes and stopped spending like amassing debt is an Olympic event? Recently Britain has started leaning toward reducing government size. How interesting! I wanted to know more…and this is where I made a mistake…I read a newspaper expecting to find “news”. My naiveté knows no bounds. The limp, thin, uninspiring pamphlet that passes for a newspaper had an article about Britain and I feel dirty and used now that I’ve read it.
It was a reasoned analysis of the pros and cons of their new comprehensive strategy. I’m just joking. Of course it wasn’t! How can I forget that “journalists” haven’t just drank the “more government is always better” kool-aid, they’ve freebased it.
Instead of learning about Britain’s actual ideas I got several paragraphs moaning that Britain was embarking on a “risky experiment”. How odd…I thought carrying massive debt loads was a “risky experiment”. The article had endless handwringing that Britain proposed actions would cause tides to reverse, inflation, deflation, stagflation, war, famine, pestilence, misery, plague, and a very nasty rash you won’t want to mention in public. There wasn’t a positive word in the entire article and they made sure to point out that reducing debt and government size was a risky, unproven, never before tried, dangerous, gamble. We’re at war in two nations and Britain tinkering with the size of their postal service is supposed to rock our world?
I chalked it up to media bias and used the newspaper to wipe an oil dipstick. (Old media still has some advantages over web sites.) Later I decided to write about it but couldn’t find a link on the newspaper’s website.
Ever the Adaptive one, I tried a Google search. I found many references to Britain’s new direction. Damned near everything mentioned how Britain’s actions were bad, evil, carcinogenic, and a leading cause of hair loss.
Nothing positive about a major nation moving to curb it’s unsustainable spending. Gentlemen of the press, I’ve seen you say good things about Yasser Arafat, Phil Spector, disco, Posh Spice, and the abomination they call non-dairy creamer. Surely you can say something good about a government…any government…limping toward fiscal responsibility. “Journalists” that can’t, need to step outside and breathe the air. Reality is scary at first but I think they would find it refreshing.
P.S. One delightful exception to press unanimity was a delightful article called; Will Someone Please Shut Krugman Up of course this originated in the UK and not in our sainted halls of unbiased journalism.