November 27, 2015

AP: Japan, in a Real Recession, Is Trying to ‘Pump Up (a Non-Existent) Recovery’

Twenty years of average economic growth of less than 1 percent have failed to convince Japan’s leaders — and apparently its citizens — that Keynesian-style government spending and handouts are not the answer to turning that long-suffering nation’s economy around.

So the Shinzo Abe government, fresh from learning that the country is in yet another recession — its fifth since 2008 — is doing more of the same, while counting on press shills around the world like the Associated Press’s Elaine Kurtenbach to be gentle in their coverage. Kurtenbach cooperated as expected early Friday morning (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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AP Accentuates and Makes Up Positives, Ignores Most Negatives, in Covering October Durable Goods Report

Ever since the White House changed hands almost seven years ago, press reports on the U.S. economy have annoyingly overaccentuated whatever positives reporters might find (or think they have found), while ignoring glaring negatives and omitting key items.

One example of such biased reporting came from the Associated Press’s Martin Crutsinger on Wednesday. In covering the Census Bureau’s October Durable Goods report, Crutsinger praised its one-month seasonally adjusted increases in new orders and shipments. While that news was welcome, the AP reporter ignored the ugly fact that October’s actual (i.e., not seasonally adjusted) year-over-year figure was lower than October 2014, marking the seventh straight month of year-over-year declines. He also didn’t address shipments, which have been flat compared to to the same month last year for the past four months, at all.

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AP Headlines Oct. Consumer Spending As ‘Weak’; Crutsinger Opens by Claiming a ‘Modest Increase’

Economic news on Wednesday’s pre-Thanksgiving “Getaway Day” was largely dismal. The government’s report on October’s personal income and outlays headed up the disappointing news. While incomes increased nicely — at a rate which needs to be repeated about two dozen more times before it can be seen as genuinely impressive — spending only rose by 0.1 percent, and prior months were revised significantly downward.

Perhaps because they were all in a pre-holiday hurry, the headline writers at the Associated Press and AP economics writer Martin Crutsinger had fundamentally different takes on the news. Additionally, Crutsinger was apparently in such a rush that he didn’t worry about the fact that his first two paragraphs’ characterizations of the result disagreed. Finally, the AP reporter failed to note that total consumer spending in October was lower than what was originally reported in September after the previously mentioned downard revisions.

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Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (112715)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Mystery Teen Suprises Mom And Toddler With Kind Deed At Target

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

Via Daryn Kagan:

November 19, 2015

Young mom Megan Shufflebarger says her heart is about to explode.

She shares an encounter that led to a kind deed at her local Target Store in Lafayette, Indiana on her Facebook page.

She wasn’t expecting anything special as she helped her little girl, Kinley, go up and down the aisles making a wish list for her upcoming birthday.

Megan writes:

“My heart is about to explode. We were in target tonight and this younger couple was walking thru the toy aisles listening to Kinley ooh and ahhh and make her birthday list of doll goodies. He asked her which one she picked out and she showed him and said yeah and I really lub dis one. They chuckled and he walked off with the doll and said try to stay over here. I thought it was odd at first but was quickly distracted with more oohing and ahhing. Kinley asked where the dolly was she picked and I told her it would be okay there are more. He came back a few minutes later with her doll, in a bag with a receipt and told her happy birthday, you enjoy your dolly. Seriously. What a reminder to never loose faith in humanity and to be generous and pay it forward. To this generous young man, whoever you are, I hope you see this and more importantly, I hope you know what a good young man you are.” …

The young man has since been identified.

Go here to see who it is.