Saturday, May 29, 2004

These days, people argue about everything...

Start looking at Google news and blogs, and you'll find bitter arguments about everything, even what are normally considered facts. And boring facts at that.

Here's a great example - you should really look at it, but the punch line is that that this blogger violently disagrees with Reuter's choice of adjectives in one of those financial-news bulletins that I always skip over (thinking "who reads this stuff? CPAs?"). Apparently, Reuter's isn't fully on board in convincing us that the US economy is in, great shape, really, and this brings them up to a "Clear and Present" danger, and I guess also reveals them as one of "forces that are trying to destroy civilization as we know it". Not that Reuter's doesn't spin the news occasionally, but really, isn't this overstating things just a bit?

Meanwhile my morning paper's op-ed column sends me to a 10-year graph on job growth to emphasize its point, that job growth the last few months is only average by the standards of the 90's. Which seemed misleading to me also - after all weren't the 90's just great, economically? But fiddling with the graphing options is pretty easy to do...make you're own call, but I'd say the numbers confirm my impression from talking to friends...that things are on their way back to normal, but that the health of the economy is nothing earthshakingly exciting - it just feels that way, in comparison to the last three years.

My main economic worry now has to due with uncertainty about Iraq, and oil prices---I'm not sure what economists have to say this time around, but ever since I was a kid (think '75, late 80's, last few years) high/uncertain prices and/or instability in the Middle East have always been a huge drag on the economy. The really bad news has only just hit, and it's never clear exactly how much all this matters to the increasingly service/science oriented economy of today, but the historical pattern is so clear to us 40-somethings it may have an effect simply due to psychology.


Mike said...

True, misleading information about the financial state of the US isn't exactly "a force trying to destroy us", but I only have one blog, and I include any kind of left-leaning "reporting" that, to me, represents efforts to hurt the West, the US, or the current administration specifically.

But thanks for reading CaP. It takes all types.

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