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I'm skeptical of one part of the article
The truth, though it would not exactly set Americans free, would at least open a window to wider economic and political understanding. Readers should ask themselves how much angrier the electorate might be if the media, over the past five years, had been citing 8 percent unemployment (instead of 5 percent), 5 percent inflation (instead of 2 percent), and average annual growth in the 1 percent range (instead of the 3-4 percent range).
I'm tempted to answer "not much". I suspect most voters base their choice on their own financial situation, and that of people they know, not on statistics. The statistics are mainly for policy-makers, journalists etc. Once these get detached from reality, you have pundits asking why the electorate is so dissatisfied with Bush's policies, when the economy is doing so well....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 14th, 2008 at 08:36:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Whatever the domestic influence, sparkling statistics on the American economy are used (by economist-talking heads, pundits, journalists) throughout the world to maintain the image of infallibility and success of supply-side, free-market, neo-liberal policies.

The story is that, while most of us blunder about, the US has got it right. Even when everything's wrong...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed May 14th, 2008 at 10:16:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course. Non-Americans only really have two sources of information, the statistics (for the specialists and the journalists) and popular culture (for the rest), both of which tell them how great things are. But the American electorate itself has a third source of information, which is their own experience. If you can't get a job, or can't afford food, you won't be happy, even if the statistics tell you you should be, and that is more likely to affect your vote.

Of course, this only works if at least some politicians offer a genuine choice, which is another matter.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 14th, 2008 at 01:49:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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