Gotta give them credit

Apparently hoping readers are morons:


After a few months of hearing about how inflation was likely to be up (mostly due to increased energy costs) we suddenly learn that it’s not up too much…and that it’s bad news.

The cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security are exactly meant to, well, adjust for changes in the cost of living. If the cost of living (as calculated using the CPI) only goes up a little, there is only a little adjustment to Social Security payments. That is HOW IT IS DESIGNED. To try to spin this as some sort of pity party story takes some real balls.

It’s almost like there’s an election coming, or something.

I can’t wait for a quarter where the CPI is through the roof and we see “GREAT NEWS! Inflation skyrockets but so do Social Security payments!” headlines.

Meanwhile, the DOW continues to climb, which is also bad news, I’ve been assured.

UPDATE: Incidentally, I believe that failing to spend a lot of time highlighting the economy is a boneheaded move by the GOP. The current economic situation is light-years from where we were told we’d be by the Democrats and most Lefty pundits when tax cuts and other moves were made. Why the Republicans are letting stupid media reports (or media’s failure to cover stories) dictate awareness of economic conditions is simply beyond Murdoc.


  1. I studied the more intense economics course at high school. My understanding is that the most common school of thought on economic growth is that you want to avoid the natural boom/bust cycle of the economy because people don’t like the bust portion. To do this, you control the supply of money via controlling interest rates. You raise rates when the economy is in an upswing and lower them in a downswing to ‘even out’ the growth of the economy, so it a steady slow growth. That’s not the only school of economic control, but I think in the last 20 years our respective countries (Australia and the USA) have managed an unprecedented period of stability. After the bubble of the 80s when interest rates and inflation were high and Reaganomics was invented as a way to address it in the US, both our countries have have a good, controlled rate of economic growth. I believe that has improved the standard of living of most segments of society. Even working class families these days seem to be able to afford so many luxuries – such as new cars, big screen TVs. All I can say is ‘good job and keep it up’. I don’t think it’s proof positive that our economic systems (reserve bank) are perfect but I do think it vindicates the principle somewhat. How can you be so negative about the economy? It boggles the mind. Income should not grow fast if inflation is low. That would make no sense. Stability is what we want.

  2. I should also point out that the reason so many people can afford luxuries these days is not that they earn more in real terms, but rather that the price of luxuries has come down a lot in real terms. Today an AU$18000 car can be pretty nice. You get airbags, ABS, CD player, aircon, good clean trim. In the 80s you got a nasty car for an equivalent amount of money (new). Computers cost *nothing* these days, relatlvely speaking. And consumer goods (fridges, TVs, stereos) keep getting cheaper and better, IMHO.

  3. Skrip: I guess I don’t know if the GOP has or has not been saying it. What I do know is that it hasn’t been getting much in the way of coverage. I can’t really agree on ‘no one has been listening’ until the message gets delivered to listeners. It hasn’t been 100% ignored, but close. And most good news stories that do actually register on the mediascope are ‘good news…but’ stories like this one. Most of them aren’t quite as clueless as this one, I’ll admit, but they also aren’t headline lead stories.

  4. I lived in Washington, DC, and subscribed to the Washington Post, in 1985-87. The Post once headlined an article on how inflation was less than the experts had predicted with ‘Cost of Living Raises To Be Lower Than Expected.’ You don’t suppose these people are dumb and can’t learn?