The latest form of political incorrectness is positive thinking. Politicians and the media both would have you believe that the economy is going to hell in a hand basket. That kind of thinking is utter rubbish when you analyze and study the economic data.
The mental attitude of a large portion of the population thinks things are awful, terrible, horrible or worse. The data would indicate that they are wrong.
Unemployment is at 5.5%, low by historical standards; income is rising slightly ahead of inflation; housing prices are down but the typical house is still worth 30% more than it was worth in 2000; 94% of Americans are paying their mortgages on time and most of the other 6% will find ways to keep their homes.
Inflation was up in 2007, but for the last 16 years it has been low or almost non existent. Living standards for all economic classes, including the middle class and the low income group, is at an all time high.
All forms of pollution, other than greenhouse gases are in decline; cancer, heart disease, stroke incidence are declining; crime is in decline and education levels are at an all time high.
Sure gas prices are up, the dollar is weak and credit is tight but these are minor issues in an otherwise healthy economy.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s there was double digit interest rates, unemployment and runaway inflation. Personal income, as adjusted for inflation is up 20% since the 1960s. While there are still racial issues they are nothing like they were in the 1950’s. When you compare those issues to the issues of today there is no comparison.
Why All the Pessimism
In order to understand what is going on you have to take a really hard look at who the purveyors of negativity are and then drill down to understand their agenda. Without a doubt the purveyors of negativity are the media – both electronic and print. The volume of their message and the size of their audience make it easy for them to influence, persuade and downright “brainwash” the uneducated, intellectually lazy, mass of humanity.
When one drills down on the stories that appear on the nightly news and the front pages of morning newspapers there is an unmistakable trend and it is all negative. Why the negative you might ask.
The simple answer is that negative news sells newspapers and network airtime. And newspapers and networks make their money from advertising. The more viewers or readers the more the cost of the advertising space. The media knows all too well that the best way to drawn a crowd is to promote negative by showing natural disasters of epic proportion, gruesome murders, rapes, kidnappings, celebrity misfortunes, etc.
Politicians of all stripes know, just as well, that when people are stirred up and fearful they are more easily controlled. They then capitalize on this fear by promoting themselves as some sort of hero with a magic solution to a multitude of societal ills. It is in their best interest to do so. It is not in their best interest – unless they are in power- to promote optimism. All of this is very carefully controlled and orchestrated. If you think otherwise you are indeed naïve.