OLD Media Moves

Media focuses too much on market

March 6, 2007

Economist Dean Baker of the American Prospect was interviewed on the NPR show “On the Media” and said that media preoccupation with the ups and downs of Wall Street not only distracts us from more significant economic issues, but mistakenly assumes a rising market is good for everybody.

Dean BakerBaker said, “There’s a tendency to talk about the stock market like it’s the home team, so that when the stock market’s up we should all be out and celebrating; when it’s down, this is bad news, we should all be dour and glum.

“Well, actually, for many, perhaps most of us, the stock market isn’t the home team. Most people own little or no stocks; 75 percent of the public has less than 25,000 dollars in the stock market. That includes the 401Ks that they may have, if they have them.

“So for them, you know, if the stock market’s down, it’s not necessarily bad news; it could even be good news.”

Later, he added, “The other thing is there obviously is a bias here. You know, if you look at who often listens to the news and, to some extent, who reports the news, the people who run the newspapers, the radio stations, the television stations, disproportionately these are people who are likely to own stock and might own a significant amount of stock. So for them, you know, it is a big deal.”

Read more here.

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