Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(17,393 posts)
Thu Dec 4, 2014, 12:47 PM Dec 2014

Is The News of Economic Weakness and Unease Corporate Propaganda?

On the one hand, corporate profits are up, unemployment is down, stock market is up, oil prices are down, sales are up, etc. In other words, according to the traditional metrics are that the economy is growing and continuing to grow. Yet, we also here news through the narrative of the unease of Americans with the economy and that they are hurting and uneasy despite the statistics that appear far better than during most of the Bush years when things seemed to be in a state of precipitous decline.

My wonder is whether the economic narrative is actually designed to keep workers docile? In other words, despite the fact that corporate profits are booming, don't ask for a raise or an increase in benefits because it is a tough world out there, and we can replace you in a moment. Also, ignore the unemployment numbers because there is are uncounted unemployed who will quickly take your job. Put another way, is the repeated narrative of economic unease designed to keep American workers fearful about demanding higher wages and better benefits?

That way, as the economy grows, profits go to the 1 percent, since they do not actually have any increased costs due to higher wages, since workers are fearful of asking for their fair share, since it is a tough economy out there despite the lower unemployment, stronger US dollar, increased sales, etc. Oh by the way, vote for a Republican Congress, because things are terrible and while you are at it buy some gold from Glenn Beck, because inflation is going to shoot up....some day...

So, the corporate news narrative operates to reinforce the stagnation in working class wages, because it keeps workers docile from demanding their fair share of a growing economy.

8 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies

Wellstone ruled

(34,661 posts)
1. Pay attention to what is going
Thu Dec 4, 2014, 01:17 PM
Dec 2014

down will all the Corporate Tax give away's happening in the Senate and White House. This is cover for what has been decided yesterday between Mr.Obama and McTurtle We retirees and working poor are about to get our bank accounts smacked by some type of retro active tax change and this whole story is nothing more than cover.


(5,364 posts)
2. Yes. Entirely plausible
Thu Dec 4, 2014, 01:47 PM
Dec 2014

It's the PTB's own version of "shock & awe".

It's also no secret that the PTB have saturated the discourse to the degree that supply-side economics is the conventional wisdom of the day, despite its failure. It's a steady drumbeat aimed at the working class that basically states that the only way they'll get by is by accepting a smaller piece ( percentage ) of a larger pie. That is; don't expect more of the pie: The pie has to get bigger for their actual cash flow to improve. You also see this as pundits constantly try to downplay wage earnings and focus instead on far their money will go: ie; "saving" money by buying foreign produced crap at Walmart and the like.


(53,521 posts)
3. Bullshit, there has been no recovery for the 99% in the first place.
Thu Dec 4, 2014, 02:31 PM
Dec 2014

Dem politicians who speak about a "recovery" are just making themselves look out of touch.


(17,393 posts)
5. Fox News Gave The Same Advice - Avoid Talking About Recovery and Record!
Fri Dec 5, 2014, 01:25 AM
Dec 2014

Of course, after the election, many liberals pointed out that this was stupid strategy to try to run away from the positive things that Democrats have accomplished such as saving the auto industry, recovering from 2008, the lowest rate of healthcare spending on record due to the ACA, etc. Instead, Democrats simply went negative without telling people what they were about.


(90,061 posts)
4. The economy is being propped up with massive quantities of debt.
Thu Dec 4, 2014, 04:42 PM
Dec 2014

Yet "recovery" is still very spotty, and damn little is trickling down. It appears to me that we are in an overall deflationary situation, demand is being destroyed; but there are patches of exuberance still, where the money is still flowing.

More to the point, permanent exponential growth is infeasible, and we are well past the infeasible point now, so yeah, they are faking it, have been for decades.

The point of the narrative is to suggest that the nation is still being governed well, which is clearly not so. It's been one long downhill slide since WWII.


(17,393 posts)
6. That's a RW Talking Point - Truth is "Obama’s Shrinking Budget Deficits Silence Foreign Critics"
Fri Dec 5, 2014, 01:32 AM
Dec 2014

Republicans always raise runaway spending under President Obama as a reason for cutting benefits and government programs. But the truth is that spending has fallen under President Obama even as the economy has grown and unemployment has shrunk. Consumer spending is up, corporate profits are up. Doesn't this suggest that the issue is not that the economy is not recovery. Rather, the benefits of the recovery are not being felt by the middle class, because they are being told to be fearful. Indeed, minorities, immigrants and women are blamed for taking a bigger portion of the pie when the truth is that although the pie has grown, the 1 percent is consumer a larger slice.

Put another way, if the economy was terrible, then corporate profits should be going down like they did in 2008. Unemployment should be shooting up like it did in 2008. Finally, the budget defcit


The Congressional Budget Office projected today that the 2014 deficit will be the lowest in six years and down more than 60 percent from the record $1.4 trillion in 2009. With the annual April 15 tax filing deadline looming, the U.S. has received about $80 billion more in income taxes this fiscal year than it had 12 months earlier.

The Treasury’s coffers are swelling as the almost five-year economic expansion gains momentum, generating more corporate and personal income-tax revenue and reducing spending on social services. Stronger growth, in turn, will depend less on government spending to fuel growth than it has in the past.


(25,147 posts)
8. I think your response is a right wing talking point that corporate profits determine the health
Fri Dec 5, 2014, 08:02 AM
Dec 2014

and vibrancy of the economy and that everything is fine except for being talked down.

Sounds like McShame's campaign, "The fundamentals of the economy are strong!".

People aren't feeling the benefits because they aren't getting them and are more pressed all the time while the top reaps the rewards and more productivity and credentials are required to tread water or even just fall behind less quickly.

Bullshit, I still haven't recovered from the first Bush recession much less the crash. Not in adjusted dollars but real ones and I have never even made the median income. Almost there after 10 or 11 years but still making a few thousand less and I'm not the only one.

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»Is The News of Economic W...