The Power of Economic Pollaganda
The economy is healthy, but the politically-motivated Leftmedia reports of recession are taking an intended toll.
The Leftmedia’s relentless warnings about economic decline is yielding the desired “pollaganda effect.” According to CNBC (not our first choice for objective economic analysis), “Americans’ attitudes toward the economy took a sharp turn downward in the third quarter, the lowest level of optimism in three years.” Moreover, “With only 23% expecting the economy to improve and 32% believing it will get worse, the poll marks the first time in the Trump presidency that economic pessimism outstrips optimism.” Even worse for President Donald Trump, “50% now disapprov[e] of his handling of the economy, the worst of his presidency.”
Mission accomplished? In order to win in 2020, Democrats are hoping for a recession they can blame on Trump. The way to achieve that is through media reports of a weak economy, followed by polls to gauge how well Americans have digested that incessant reporting. Then media outlets report on the polls to convince even more consumers that the economy is weak because their fellow Americans think so. And so the churn goes.
Frankly, though, Trump’s economic approval rating has as much to do with the Democrats’ impeachment charade as Leftmedia economic pollaganda.
How is the economy actually doing? Reasonably well. It’s true that GDP growth slowed to about 2% in 2019 after hitting 3% during 2018 for the first time in a decade. It’s also true that Trump’s tariffs are a burden on the economy (albeit a means to a desirable end). Yet consumer spending remains healthy, leading to a higher trade deficit in August.
Meanwhile, September jobs numbers came in at 136,000, slightly lower than expected, but numbers for the last two months were significantly revised upward. For perspective, however, headline unemployment is at just 3.5%, the lowest since December 1969. The fuller measure of unemployment fell from 7.2% in August to 6.9% in September. (The all-time low is 6.8%.) National Review adds, “Hispanic unemployment fell to 3.9 percent, setting a record low, while black unemployment remained at a record-low 5.5 percent.” Those rates aren’t dropping because people are leaving the workforce, either, which is what happened under Barack Obama. It’s somewhat tough to add jobs when most everyone who wants one has one. The slowdown in hiring likely has a cooling effect on GDP as well, but that doesn’t mean neither are healthy.
Economic health is dependent on consumer confidence, which is shaped by media reporting. That’s why Democrats and their Leftmedia super PAC want Americans to see not a solid economy but one teetering on the brink of recession. If that pans out, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy and help defeat Trump in 2020.
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