What He Said
I couldn't have expressed my frustration with the economic illiteracy of the press and the general population better than does TJIC:
Mostly, this series just makes me sad and tired, the same way I’d be sad and tired if I saw smart verbal well educated people spending their time explaining that, no, Jews don’t have horns, and it’s a bad idea to drown your neighbors to see if they are witches.
The sheer wasted effort combating idiocy and ignorance, when these talented people could be doing so much more, if not for the resting levels of stupidity and ignorance cloaked with self-righteous anger that permeate the population.
The only proviso I would add is that for those of our political class, I suspect the ignorance may be more willful than actual, since a clear understanding of economics in the general populace might stand in the way of gaining personal power. I expressed related sentiments here:
Economics is a science. Willful ignorance or emotional rejection of the well-known precepts of this science is at least as bad as a fundamentalist Christian's willful ignorance of evolution science (for which the Left so often criticizes their opposition). In fact, economic ignorance is much worse, since most people can come to perfectly valid conclusions about most public policy issues with a flawed knowledge of the origin of the species but no one can with a flawed understanding of economics.
Posted on January 29, 2008 at 09:47 PM | Permalink
Economics is a science. Willful ignorance or emotional rejection of the well-known precepts of this science is at least as bad as a fundamentalist Christian's willful ignorance of evolution science
I'm afraid that association with the latter often taints the former in the public eye. For example, this guy writes quite good columns on free market principles when he sets his mind to it.
Posted by: ArtD0dger | Jan 29, 2008 11:56:29 PM
On one hand, it's hard not to agree with the sentiment in this post.
On the other hand, I ask "is there anything the media covers well?"
It's been my experience that astonishingly uniformative (if not misleading) coverage is a staple of media coverage of about anything. I have often said, no one will have faith in the media after watching them cover something they understand deeply.
If I had to pick something the media covers well, it'd probably be sports. I suspect this is because the media actually uses people who have been on the field, or are passionate about it enough to immerse themselves in the subject.
When it comes to football coverage, you get Bill Parcells. When it comes to economics coverage, you're getting some journalism major who couldn't pass Econ 101.
Posted by: diz | Jan 30, 2008 8:08:57 AM
never forget that the benefits of ignorance accrue to the state
Posted by: anon in tx | Jan 30, 2008 8:56:04 AM
If I had to pick something the media covers well, it'd probably be sports.
As a Canadian Hockey blogger, let me tell you that even sports seems beyond the media to capably cover. Analysis is often superficial and shallow. Puff pieces and the parroting of "conventional wisdom" are trumped only by bland, cliche ridden interviews with players and unreliable trade talk provided by "shadowy sources". Anyone who has more than a passing interest in the sport has begun to move away from the MSM - and towards dreaded "user generated content" - for actual analysis.
I can't speak intelligently about the NFL coverage in the States (I've heard it's actually quite good), but the NHL coverage in Canada (where that maligned league rules the roost) ranges from merely adequate to completely inept.
Posted by: metrognome | Jan 30, 2008 4:01:30 PM
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