Day in and day out we watch, listen, or read about the latest news stories, and they usually boil down to a few basic themes: criticism of the Obama administration; competing political commentary by the same old competing political talking heads; inordinate amounts of speculation; redundant beating of that poor dead horse, the (apparently) One and Only Very Important Headline of the Day; and trivial fluff.
I have the Tee Vee Machine running all day, so I manage to (over)expose myself to frustrating daytime cable coverage, and not once has there been a mention of today's Los Angeles Times above-the-fold, front page story, "Solid Growth for U.S. Likely in 2014."
That's right, there is such a thing as "economic recovery," yet economic news gets an overwhelming amount of negative attention and analysis, but nary a whisper about the recovery and growth that's being revealed in the Times:
The overall economic outlook for the U.S. has improved sharply in recent weeks amid a string of surprisingly robust economic data: Businesses have stepped up hiring, new factory orders from abroad are at a two-year high and consumers have been flocking to car lots and restaurants.
State and local governments that not long ago were in massive retrenchment are spending more too.
"We could see the unemployment rate down to 6% this time next year," said Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. That would be a full percentage point below the current rate and, in some analysts' views, close to full employment.
"Close to full employment." "Close to full employment." I'msorrywhat?
Anyone hear about this anywhere, any time, from anyone today? I sure didn't.
An acceleration to 3% would probably push up U.S. job growth to 250,000 a month on average, from a monthly average of 190,000 over the last 12 months, Kleinhenz said.
At that pace, the nation would recover all the jobs lost in the recession by the end of 2014. And it would push down the jobless rate closer to the 5.5% to 6% range that some now see as the potential long-term unemployment rate.
Maybe our so-called "liberal media" doesn't want to rock the "we're all sunk" (no pun) boat. After all, the more they can stir up even more speculation, anger, confusion, uncertainty, conflict, and controversy, the more opinionated commentators snap at each other, the more drama and rubbernecking they can generate, the stronger their readership, listenership, and viewership become.
And we all know by now that a big dose of what we can all agree is good news just doesn't bring in ratings.