Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Selective Memory In The Economist

I've subscribed to The Economist for over two decades now. I can't recall when the magazine's editorial pages didn't insist American tax rates had to be higher.

You'd think, given the publication's pedigree, that this would not be so. But, it is.

Yet, there's more to it than simply a stance on taxes that favors making the US more like, well, European welfare states. You know, like Britain.

There's also selective reporting to slant events.

For example, in an editorial regarding the Congressional supercommittee in the magazine's November 12th edition, you would read,

"Mr Obama and the House Speaker, John Boehner, discussed just such a grand bargain back in July, before the anti-tax wing of the Republican Party took fright."

Implying, of course, that Boehner succumbed to pressure from his more conservative House members. But that's not what happened at all.

Rather, as Boehner explained, he and Obama had a deal, then Obama succumbed to pressure from his base and added one more tax demand. Boehner walked on both principle and the particular tax issue.

But you'd never know it from reading that editorial.

It's tough to evaluate business and economic information when the reporting sources don't even get their facts straight.

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