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The media must do a better job reporting on the economy

By Philip Suttle

Daniel Patrick Moynihan (a straight-talking Democrat who served in Republican Administrations) once said “you are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.” This quote came to my mind when lining up the objective data on the economy with much reported polling on the economy. 

One obvious source of economic angst has been the loss in purchasing power from the post-pandemic surge in global inflation over recent years, which has now fallen back towards more normal levels. This past week, however, the (bipartisan) Congressional Budget Office ( released a report showing that household incomes have risen faster than prices since 2019. That finding was true for all income groups. 

In addition, the unemployment rate has been below 4% for 27 months (the longest period since 1952), and more than 15 million jobs have been created since Biden took office. The only economic recovery since World War II that tops the current one was in 1949, making the recovery under the Biden administration the strongest in 72 years. All three of the nation’s foremost stock indexes hit record highs this week after the latest data showed inflation is slowing.

And yet, a recent poll found that 3/4 of voters thought the economy was “fair” or “poor.” Why is there this disconnect?  It is understandable that the average voter has frustrations. High grocery store prices reflect many adverse global developments. But there are more serious domestic distortions that attract little focus. Corporate greed was driven into overdrive through the pandemic. A monopoly of ten corporations in this country control most of the food production and distribution. Walmart made $155 billion in profit last year, yet they are laying off workers or forcing them into fewer hours and pay low wages.

The divide between reality and people’s beliefs highlights just how much it matters the way the media reports events. And the source(s) we use for information matters. We all have busy lives, and at times do not have the luxury to dig “into the weeds” for the data. But, in this day and age, we need to, in order to be informed voters who will not be gaslighted into voting against our own interests.

Philip Suttle resides in Greensboro and is founder of the Suttle Economics consulting firm, with clients mainly in the global financial services sector.

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Speaking of inconvient facts, not once did you mention the state of our debt at 34T and growing 1T every 100 days or less. You didn't mention the federal government is now paying more in interest than the military and entitlements combined. You didn't mention the explosion of our money supply or the fact that the economy shut down before we had this so called remarkable job growth and low unemployment rate.

No, your focus is on greed and Walmart. I think the fact that we all are going to be trading monopoly money in the near future a little more concerning and actually exacerbates your true concerns. Your only talking about symptoms. Treating a cough for a terminal patien…

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I just spit out my coffee laughing at the 🐂 💩, democrats own this economy and they are complaining it’s not because of Biden policy’s ? Don’t be stupid

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I just spit out my water laughing that you think an economy can be built in three years. Taxes went up for the lowest earners under trumps ‘tax cuts’ this year. I pay more in taxes than I ever have at a lower salary than I had before Biden or trump. State taxes are higher than most states too.

The economy is doing well according to people that make a lot of money on interest. The rest of us are struggling to find affordable housing and pay for groceries on the median wage here in Athens.

Biden, trump, Obama, and all those since Reagan have perpetuated this trickle down nonsense and it’s created more poverty and increased corporate profits year…

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