NPR: Maybe a slow economy is just what we need!

posted at 1:21 pm on April 27, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Old and busted: The economy is picking up steam under Obama and that’s great news.  New hotness: The economy is slow … and that’s great news!  After this morning’s GDP report from the Department of Commerce, NPR offered the counterfactual headline you’d only see during a Democratic administration:

 

Wait, someone at NPR must have thought later.  We can’t admit that the economy is slow at 2.2% GDP, even though everyone else already knows it.  When readers click on the link, the argument magically changes to this:

Scott Neuman offers this defense of slow-growth policies:

Growth rates have been modest at best compared with the 4-plus percent growth in the years well before the U.S. began slouching toward its worst post-World War II recession.

On Friday, the government reported that the economy grew at a 2.2 percent pace in the first quarter, down from the 3 percent rate at the end of 2011. The Federal Reserve this week said it expects growth to “remain moderate over coming quarters and then to pick up gradually.”

Common sense says high growth rates are good and slower, more modest ones are not so good. But is that always the case? After all, the “irrational exuberance” of the early 2000s helped bring on the recession as people borrowed and spent their way to prosperity.

Actually, it wasn’t irrational exuberance of growth that Alan Greenspan criticized in that period; it was irrational exuberance in the stock markets that concerned him.  That did cause people to use their homes like ATM machines, and fueled growth in that period unhealthily, but that was created by a deliberate distortion in lending markets, not by the economic growth itself.

Most of the economists Neuman quotes disagree with him, saying that slow growth combined with high unemployment is unhealthy — and wouldn’t become healthy until unemployment went below 6%, at least.  In most years, that would just be common sense.  In an election year with a Democratic incumbent in the White House, apparently the government-subsidized media feels more free to indulge counterfactual flights of fancy. I can’t imagine why …


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

Did I just waste some of my best material on a dead thread again???!!!

Nom de Boom on April 27, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Is slow growth actually good for the economy?–NPR

Whatever happened to “women and minorities hardest hit?”

smellthecoffee on April 27, 2012 at 3:18 PM

That’s what was happening from 1933 to 1937. You know what that got us ….. 1938!

Harpoon on April 27, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Per the video: Burt Rutan was asked “what type of climate science credentials do you have?” He should have said “#1, I’m not a climate scientist… because Climate Scientists are not credible on issues regarding… climate. At least the post 1990 vintage, who had to exhibit agreement with the Chicken Littles in order to get into the club. NO exceptions that I know of.”

Far far from being the great lab-coated experts to be trusted, Climate Scientists are the agenda-driven opposite.

“We have to offer up scary scenarios… each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective and being honest.” — Stephen Schneider, lead ipcc author, 1989

“It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” –Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace

anotherJoe on April 27, 2012 at 3:27 PM

anotherJoe on April 27, 2012 at 3:27 PM
My bad on the last comment… that supposed to go in “The Love of Theory is the Root of All Evil” post. Expletive deleted!

anotherJoe on April 27, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Obama Administration -

“We have ALWAYS been at war with East Asia!”

Drones in the Lame-Stream/Liberal Media-Industrial Complex -

“Yes, we HAVE ALWAYS been at war with East Asia!”

powerpickle on April 27, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Actually, it wasn’t irrational exuberance of growth that Alan Greenspan criticized in that period; it was irrational exuberance in the stock markets that concerned him. That did cause people to use their homes like ATM machines, and fueled growth in that period unhealthily, but that was created by a deliberate distortion in lending markets, not by the economic growth itself.

The real irrational exuberance was the Federal Reserve under Greenspan and Bernanke’s watch, on orders from both Republican and Democrat, crippling the economy with accelerated inflation, squeezing incomes so that people would overly use credit.

rickv404 on April 27, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Ed, Allah? Don’t you have a time out hammer? angryed is shortcircutng. There are sparks everywhere. I don’t want a fire, ya know. Maybe a week?

katy the mean old lady on April 27, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Don’t forget that we need some inflation, too, according to the good Dr Krugman…even though the Misery Index is ~19.2%!!!

Morning In America

1984 Q1 GDP: 7.4%

Mourning In America

2012 Q1 GDP: 2.2%

Resist We Much on April 27, 2012 at 4:52 PM

I want to thank NPR for the twitterfun.

#NPRHeadlines: Is eating dog healthy?

2 hours later:

#NPRHeadlines: Is eating dog moderately healthy? #EverythingInModeration

votermom on April 27, 2012 at 4:53 PM

After all, the “irrational exuberance” of the early 2000s helped bring on the recession as people borrowed and spent their way to prosperity.

Wait! I thought the housing crisis was Bush’s & the evil banks fault! NPR admits it was people getting home loans they couldn’t afford!

American Elephant on April 27, 2012 at 5:01 PM

+

jimver on April 27, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Whatever happened to “women and minorities hardest hit?”

smellthecoffee on April 27, 2012 at 3:18 PM

they were just moderately hit…

jimver on April 27, 2012 at 5:19 PM

This week I talked to 3 long-working and highly skilled professionals who are afraid they’ll be losing their jobs because they’ve seen every one around them get laid off. NPR’s “slow growth” is another person’s Great Depression.

obladioblada on April 27, 2012 at 6:36 PM

After all, the “irrational exuberance” of the early 2000s helped bring on the recession as people borrowed and spent their way to prosperity.

Man, if this guy was trying to cover for The One….you think maybe he should choose his words a bit a better, no??

Seems like he is aware of the fact of how people spending more than they had turned out to be a bad thing…..

So sad…

MityMaxx on April 27, 2012 at 7:48 PM

@American Elephant on April 27, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Touche….

Even better than my thought on that quote.

MityMaxx on April 27, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Obama Administration -

“We have ALWAYS been at war with East Asia!”

To be fair…to him, that’s Hawaii.

Tim_CA on April 27, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Is slow growth good for the economy?

Is NPR good for anything?

well, it’s really good at sucking in tax dollars and blowing out a verbal diarrhea of propaganda.

gordo on April 28, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Is slow growth good for the economy?

Is NPR good for anything?

well, it’s really good at sucking in tax dollars and blowing out a verbal diarrhea of propaganda.

gordo on April 28, 2012 at 4:27 PM

NPR does a great job reporting on things that can’t plausibly be spun to make liberals look good. Their reporting on the ground during the Egyptian and Libyan uprisings was great – way better than anyone else’s.

There’s a lot of talent at NPR really – but they’re run by lefties. NPR represents what a hard left editoral staff thinks a centrist news station should be.

Quantus on April 29, 2012 at 12:49 AM

NPR: Maybe a slow economy is just what we need!

So NPR, functioning as the Washington propaganda ministry, is advocating for an America of serfs who are dependent upon government whim for their very existence???

Typical!

Let’s move “defunding NPR” up a notch on the post-election hit list.

landlines on April 29, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Proposed campaign slogan:

“Let’s kick the ‘P’ out of NPR!!!

landlines on April 29, 2012 at 2:39 PM

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