Bad Economic News: Reality Trumps Capital-Centered Anticonsciousness

For months, the ruling elite at home and abroad have used their media to incessantly repeat the nonsense that economies around the world are doing very well and rebounding nicely. Endless headlines from around the globe screamed wantonly about how economies everywhere were breaking all kinds of growth records and that everything looked bright and promising. Apparently, country after country was coming out of yet another profound economic crisis that has wreaked havoc around the world.

However, in the last few weeks or so there has been a sharp and visible turn to more gloomy headlines about the economy. There has been a notable rise in the number of headlines and articles containing negative economic news. There are still some overly exuberant claims being made by certain news sources about the economy but on the whole there is a discernable increase in reporting on bad economic conditions that have been with us for some time.

The rich and their media are having a harder time ignoring and concealing miserable economic conditions, not to mention that it can be difficult to avoid looking hypocritical and tone-deaf by constantly repeating cheerful claims that clash with the difficult daily lived experience of millions of people.

Not surprisingly, imperialist organizations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have started their predictable downward revisions for economic growth in many parts of the world. This is not unusual because they, along with other capital-centered organizations, continually over-shoot economic growth forecasts and mis-assess economic phenomena, and then when reality catches up they are forced to acknowledge the harsh conditions that are actually confronting millions. This has been a pattern for years.

It should be recalled that most economies never recovered from the 2008 economic collapse engineered by Wall Street and that continuing the same monetary and fiscal policies that started 12 years ago is clearly not improving things today. If anything, the groundwork is being laid for a bigger economic disaster down the road. In fact, many have said, and reality has shown, that conditions are even worse now than they were back then. General estimates indicate that the “COVID Pandemic” is at least three times as destructive as the 2008 economic collapse organized by the rich. It is likely more than that. Eighteen months after the start of the “COVID Pandemic” approximately one million people per month are still losing their jobs in the U.S. At the height of the “COVID Pandemic” more than 70 million workers had filed for unemployment benefits in the U.S. That is more than 40% of the entire U.S. labor force, which stood at about 165 million workers in early 2020. In addition, the Congressional Budget Office states that deficits over the next decade will add another $12.1 trillion to the national debt. On top of this, inflation is very high and the labor force participation rate remains low, despite trillions of dollars printed by the Federal Reserve. We are also in the midst of “striketober,” which refers to a large wave of workers across the country going on strike in October to demand better pay, better working conditions, and a real say in things. Tens of thousands of workers from several different sectors are currently on strike; they have endured austerity for decades.

These and many other indicators are not signs of a resilient, modern, stable, substantive economy that people can rely on. There is no security, stability, predictability, and peace under such an obsolete and feeble economic system. An alternative is needed, possible, and long overdue.

In the coming weeks and months the rich and their media will continue to work overtime to disinform the polity about economic conditions. All kinds of ideological twists and turns will be taken to distort economic realities. They will strive to maintain maximum confusion so that people cannot find their bearings or sort things out and open the path of progress to society.

People can avoid such disorientation and sabotage by constantly and energetically engaging in a conscious act of finding out for themselves what is really unfolding. This has to be done on an uninterrupted basis because the disinformation is massive and relentless. Without disciplined ongoing investigation it will be easy to succumb to media disinformation.

The rich and their media have no interest in economic science or the public interest. It is up to people themselves to investigate matters in a serious way, draw the warranted conclusions, and use this analysis to usher in the alternative.

Shawgi Tell is author of the book Charter School Report Card. He can be reached at Read other articles by Shawgi.