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January 09, 2006

Cute: AP Notes Economy Will Cool Off, Without Ever Having Noted It Was Hot In The First Place

This article doesn't really report anything you didn't know or isn't conventional wisdom. Yes, economists think the economy will cool off into a 3+% GDP range of growth. Yes, the housing market will almost surely cool off, especially now that everyone is sure it will. Etc., etc., etc.

But it's interesting that the MSM is setting up its next big story -- 2006: The End of the Bush Boom -- without ever having acknowledged there was a boom in the first place.

Think about it: after the MSM has been telling us the economy is horrible for five years, now, when a strong economy is going to moderate and become merely okay, they're all ready to start telling us how we've fallen from our previous highs. Without ever really informing the public about those highs in the first place.

It's brilliant, really. They will only note the strength of the past three years' economy in retrospect in order to tell people that now they're doing worse than they were before. Bush therefore never gets any political benefit from the strong economy -- when it was strong, they said it was weak, and when it moderates into consistent but not strong growth, they'll say it's weaker than it had been.

Nice. Well played, MSM. Very well played.

Paul Krugman, meanwhile, notes the growth in GDP while seizing upon one statistic -- median household income growth -- to claim the economy is "joyless." Q&O has thoughts on that over at TCS.

Krugman may be setting himself up for the same strategy. He can now say, "I did acknowledge strong economic growth," in the quarter in which it was expected to start declining, and then begin whining how we've fallen from those lofty heights, which he never really noted were all that lofty.

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posted by Ace at 11:48 AM

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