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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press News in the Post: President Obama Is Not Doing What The Post Wants

News in the Post: President Obama Is Not Doing What The Post Wants

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Friday, 14 January 2011 07:39

In most newspapers "news" is something that happens. However, the Washington Post chose to make one of its major news stories the fact that President Obama doesn't seem as concerned about reducing the deficit as it wants. Since there is no real event in the world that is highlighted, this is the only real way to describe this piece. (The article does refer in passing to the fact that the bond-rating agencies, who rated hundreds of billions of dollars of subprime mortgage backed securities as investment grade, threatened to downgrade the government's debt. However these warnings are just mentioned in passing.)

One might think that it is also news that President Obama does not have any plan to reduce the 9.4 percent unemployment rate. However, this is apparently not as big a concern at the Post.

Comments (5)Add Comment
News is What's Not Happening - Not What's Happening
written by izzatzo, January 14, 2011 8:36
In most newspapers "news" is something that happens.


Any economist knows that the only reason news is news is because of the opportunity cost of what doesn't happen - the highest valued alternative to what did happen. Otherwise it wouldn't be news. It would just be stuff that happens.

For example, since the opportunity cost of a higher deficit is obviously exploding interest rates and hyperinflation rather than less unemployment, then not having a plan to reduce the deficit is like not having a plan to step away from oncoming vehicles in heavy traffic.

This is why the news is filled with pictures of pedestrians walking in traffic. They obviously don't have a plan. That's why it's news - not because of what's happening, but because of what's not happening - the opportunity cost of what's actually happening.

Stupid liberals.
Over 70% Oppose Raising Debt Ceiling
written by paul, January 14, 2011 10:03
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...08778.html

A huge majority of Americans is convinced that eliminating the Federal budget deficit right now is the highest national priority.

The WaPo is simply pandering to the uninformed and trying to sell newspapers. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
...
written by Fed Up, January 14, 2011 12:50
I oppose raising the debt ceiling. I agree that the "currency ceiling" should be raised.

Economists don't understand the difference between "price inflating" with debt and "price inflating" with currency.
To Izzatzo
written by John Q, January 14, 2011 10:17

For example, since the opportunity cost of a higher deficit is obviously exploding interest rates and hyperinflation rather than less unemployment,....


Yes, obviously, 'cos that's what happened in the 1930s and during WWII, isn't it. Oh, wait...

Obama
written by Ethan, January 15, 2011 2:30
It does make one wonder just what the priorities are of some of these newspapers. I personally feel that this statement, "One might think that it is also news that President Obama does not have any plan to reduce the 9.4 percent unemployment rate." is a very important one and one that needs to be looked at. Why doesn't he have any plan? poker sites

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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