Visitors Now:
Total Visits:
Total Stories:
Profile image
By Economist's View (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

Paul Krugman: The Age of Fake Policy

Friday, January 6, 2017 13:04
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

Don't let Trump distract you from his real agenda:

The Age of Fake Policy, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: On Thursday, at a rough estimate, 75,000 Americans were laid off or fired by their employers. Some of those workers will find good new jobs, but many will end up earning less, and some will remain unemployed for months or years.

If that sounds terrible to you…, I’m just assuming that Thursday was a normal day in the job market. … In an average month, there are 1.5 million “involuntary” job separations (as opposed to voluntary quits), or 75,000 per working day. Hence my number. …

Real policy … involves large sums of money and affects broad swathes of the economy. Repealing the Affordable Care Act … would certainly qualify.

Consider, by contrast, the story that dominated several news cycles a few weeks ago: Donald Trump’s intervention to stop Carrier from moving jobs to Mexico. Some reports say that 800 U.S. jobs were saved; others suggest that the company will simply replace workers with machines. But even accepting the most positive spin, for every worker whose job was saved in that deal, around a hundred others lost their jobs the same day. …

This was fake policy — a show intended to impress the rubes, not to achieve real results.

The same goes for the hyping of Ford’s decision to add 700 jobs in Michigan…

The incoming administration’s incentive to engage in fake policy is obvious… Mr. Trump won overwhelming support from white working-class voters, who believed that he was on their side. Yet his real policy agenda, aside from the looming trade war, is standard-issue modern Republicanism: huge tax cuts for billionaires and savage cuts to public programs, including those essential to many Trump voters. …

Still, none of this would work without the complicity of the news media. …

Sorry, folks, but headlines that repeat Trump claims about jobs saved, without conveying the essential fakeness of those claims, are a betrayal of journalism. This is true even if … the articles eventually, quite a few paragraphs in, get around to debunking the hype: many if not most readers will take the headline as validation of the claim.

And it’s even worse if headlines inspired by fake policy crowd out coverage of real policy.

It is, I suppose, possible that fake policy will eventually produce a media backlash — that news organizations will begin treating stunts like the Carrier episode with the ridicule they deserve. But nothing we’ve seen so far inspires optimism.

Report abuse

Comments

Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories

Register

Newsletter

Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.