Thursday, January 03, 2008

Money Matters: the Media Top 10 Economic Myths of 2007

Very interesting indeed.

Take a look at the media's top 10 economic myths of 2007.

Some of the myths are so silly that I can't believe people would believe them, but...of course, some people will and do.

Part of the problem is that (a) too many people lack even a basic understanding of economics, and (b) the media's economic coverage is often wrong, misleading, or just plain stupid. As for some reporters, see (a). Also, what's the actual, economist's definition of a "recession"? Find out! People use this scary word "recession" all the time, mostly without understanding it.

Another common myth that deserves mention: the idea that you can tax your way to prosperity, or that you can "Robin Hood" your way to it too (i.e, how is this different from punishing wealth and rewarding poverty? Or, worse, how is this not in fact punish creators of wealth for creating wealth?).

My all-time favorite myth is actually not on the list because it's not really confined to 2007. It's the ongoing apocalyptic myth of the imminent and total, catastrophic collapse of the American economy. Doomsday for Dollars!

I've been hearing predictions of this for years and years, and I expect to keep on hearing them -- even as I still manage to pay my bills and maybe even afford to buy a few nice things from time to time. (Look, it's Mad Minerva's Standard of Economic Prosperity -- if even a grad nerd like me can afford to buy a pricey latte once a week, then we're not in Doomsday for Dollars. After all, who's more famously penniless than grad students?)

1 comment:

lost in the Yenching stacks said...

This whole "Robin Hood" myth misunderstanding miffs me. Robin Hood did NOT "steal from the rich and give to the poor." He stole from a corrupt government that heavily over-taxed the citizenry and gave the people their own money back.

Darn that Rand woman!