Media’s Top 10 Economic Myths of 2006

By December 18, 2006Economy

The Business and Media Institute has just released its new report, Media’s Top 10 Economic Myths of 2006. Coming in at No. 10: “10. American manufacturing is obsolete — Media myth: All the manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas, and the only ones left are in the almost empty plants of the Big Three automakers.

The media turned to manufacturing layoffs to illustrate worker woes, though The Economist magazine explained in its July 1, 2006, issue that the American manufacturing sector was flourishing — even with the much-publicized problems at General Motors and Ford. “Net profits have risen by nearly 9 percent a year since the recession in 2001 and productivity has been growing even more rapidly than is usual during economic expansions,” stated the article.

The entire rebuttal to this point and the nine others can be found in the full report, available here.

It’s an excellent list, which you can read in the extended entry below. We had almost forgotten about the catastrophe that bird flu is going to wreak on the world. (Number 3.) Half the world dead! (Or is it moldy grain that’s the killer? Moldy grain doesn’t get the media opprobrium it deserves.)

As we enter the “Top 10 List” phase of the year, it’s nice to see a summary that hits the mark on the economy and the media. Kudos to the good folks at the Business and Media Institute, associated with the Media Research Center.

UPDATE (22:00): Interesting. Michael Fumento sees rampant PR hysteria associated with avian influenza, while Glenn Reynolds cautions that caution is good. Seems like the debate is timely.

10. American manufacturing is obsolete
Media myth: All the manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas, and the only ones left are in the almost empty plants of the Big Three automakers.

9. The American dream has become a nightmare
Media myth: It’s no use trying, because you’ll never achieve the American dream.

8. You can’t be trusted with a fork and spoon
Media myth: From your morning doughnut to your afternoon potato chips and your evening burger, the government should stop you from killing yourself.

7. Wages are stagnant
Media myth: Workers are getting left behind in economic growth.

6. Global warming doom grows ever nearer
Media myth: We have passed the “tipping point” on global warming. The U.S. had better pay up — and we don’t have much time.

5. Increasing the minimum wage will help the millions of poor workers
Media myth: U.S. workers are barely getting by, and it’s past time for a minimum wage increase after all these years.

4. The housing bubble has burst
Media myth: A U.S. housing slowdown means the market is crashing down and the rest of the economy isn’t far behind.

3. Bird flu is going to kill us all
Media myth: Stockpile your drugs (and everything else) now, because bird flu is coming and it’s going to get ugly.

2. Gasoline is a conspiracy – going up or coming down!
Media myth: Big Oil is conspiring to spike gas prices and stick it to the consumer. Wait! No! Big Oil is conspiring with Republicans to bring gas prices DOWN before the election!

1. The U.S. economy is hopeless – again
Media Myth: The average American knows that the economy is bad and not getting better.