My Blog List

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Headlines Are For Suckers

I was browsing a bunch of news sites this morning, and saw this headline to a story -

Housing Starts Increase In July After Falling Sharply In Two Previous Months

My very first reaction was, "That is a bold-faced lie."

I had just finished up another article in a long line of reports that said residential housing was taking a beating. Housing prices are flat and we will soon have an official housing inventory equal to a full 12 months of demand.  A full year's worth of demand!  

These numbers don't include the tens of millions of homes held on the books of the banks - homes that have been foreclosed upon, but the banks are holding so that the prices don't get further depressed by a rush of homes hitting the market.

I also know that home builders aren't stupid.  They are not going to be building homes in increasing volumes at a time when there is an over-supply of the products they manufacture.

So how could that headline be accurate?

It wasn't until the fourth paragraph of the article that the real story was presented -
The monthly increase was due to a jump in new construction of multi-family homes, which surged up by 17.3 percent to an annual rate of 95,000. On the other hand, new construction of single-family homes fell by 4.2 percent, the third consecutive monthly decrease.
Translation:  More people are losing their homes and are being forced to move into apartments.  There is increased market demand for residential housing owned by someone other than the occupant.

If you look at the headline, your impression is that things are all bright and rosy.  The pinheads in the stock market are fairly wetting themselves over the "good" news, and the market is soaring.  Really?!

I'm finished with trying to "justify" why the press feels this need to spin the news one way or the other.  The left-leaning press gives us, "puppies and kittens," and the right-leaning press gives us, "ghouls and goblins."  They were in opposite roles when Bush was president.

I don't want them to spread doom-and-gloom, and I don't want them to blow happy-smoke up my butt.  I just want them to accurately report what's going on so I can get a feel for what is going on in the world.

Accept The Challenge

I think of people like my mom.  She's retired and very active.  She almost couldn't care less what's going on in the "outside world".  She doesn't have the time or inclination to read in-depth news stories.  Her news consists of brief headlines and talking-heads on the local major network TV channels.  I think the majority of Americans get their daily dose of news the exact same way.

No wonder we're in this mess.  As long as the politicians we elect appear to be trustworthy, we elect them.  We barely scratch the surface of what they've done.  Most are professional politicians.  It's all they've ever done.

All sizzle, no steak.
All hat, no horse.
A bunch of empty suits.

Instead of the media informing us, they actively work to influence us.  Seriously, thank God for the Internet!  At least those of us with the inclination to dig into a story have the ability to do so, and WE can use that knowledge to educate and inform others.

Sure, we will apply our "spin" on the events, but that's OK, as we're discussing our personal opinions.  We don't have the pretense of Professional Journalist.

Read, read and read some more.  There is so much going on right now - we have to stay informed, and we need to have confidence in the information we're receiving.

Question everything.  Especially question things that report what you expect them say.  For instance, I think gold and silver are going to continue to rise in value.  When I read reports and stories that support that belief, I verify every point they make.  Being suckered because they're telling us what we want to hear can end up quite badly.

Please click our advertiser links. They pay us so you don't have to. A click a day is all we ask!

Copyright 2010 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

1 comment:

suek said...

Someone made a point that I thought was worth consideration when you hear people say the both parties are the same:

If the Dems are in power, we never hear anything bad from the MSM.

If the GOP is in power, the MSM is all over them, reporting every possible error or dishonest action they take.

Conclusion: since we need to be aware of what politicians are doing so that we know who we want to vote into or out of office, we're much better off with the GOP in power.