Daniel Ikenson’s recent blog reminds me why I was unhappy in my old job, and much happier now:
"The venerable ABC World News has decided to indulge its worst instincts by airing—every night this week—a reality-based series called 'Made in America.' ...
The gist of the series is that Americans don’t buy many U.S.-made products anymore … By spending a little more on U.S.-made products, the storyline goes, Americans can put their countrymen back to work.
Here’s part of the series description '…our nation is addicted to imports. In 1960, foreign goods made up just 8 percent of Americans' purchases. Today, nearly 60 percent of everything we buy is made overseas... The United States has fewer manufacturing jobs now than we did in 1941, the same year as the attack on Pearl Harbor, but if every American spent an extra $3.33 on U.S.-made goods, it would create almost 10,000 new jobs in this country.'
Ugh. Where to begin? Back in the 'golden age' of 1960, when imports were oddities to marvel over in a disdainful way, the per-capita U.S. income was $2,914. In 2009, with imports ubiquitous, per-capita income was $46,411. (Economic Report of the President, 2010, Tables B-1 and B-34). In real, inflation-adjusted terms, even with a U.S. population increase from 181 million to 307 million, per-capita incomes in 2009 were almost triple what they were in 1960 ($42,277 vs. $15,669 in 2005 dollars—ERP, 2010, Tables B-2 and B-34). Oh, if only we could replicate the relative poverty, the limited consumer choices, … How can she pine for such an era?
It’s frustrating that so much research refuting the myth of manufacturing decline and supporting the conclusion that U.S. manufacturing is thriving—and is in fact leading the world in terms of value of output—is simply neglected by a media that is more committed to scaring than informing."
Ugh, is right. Economic illiteracy thrives in the MSM. I don’t know that ABC is worse than others, but on many days I wanted to scream.