Wall of Shame

Reporting & commentary that assume eternal growth is feasible, good, and necessary for prosperity

One of the unfortunate things about the Internet is it makes it possible for people who don’t think things through completely to write half-witted columns and make it appear they have done their research and know what they’re talking about. I’m not saying that’s the case with Ryan Cooper at The Week; you draw your own conclusion. Oh hell, that’s exactly what I’m saying about Cooper. This should be titled, "What some 'journalists' get wrong when they don't think the population/consumption issue through." There are so many holes in the reasoning behind What Liberals Get Wrong About Having Kids, that Swiss cheese is getting an inferiority complex. Exhibit One: “In a...
How much shame?
Misdemeanor
3
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This extract of a speech by Australian shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh was published as an op-ed in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph last month. Having “populate and prosper” in the headline guaranteed it a spot on our Wall of Shame. When I saw it, I knew it was the work of global growth profiteer Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp owns 142 newspapers in Australia alone. Growth-pushers use the phrase “grow and prosper” quite often, but the Murdoch press in Australia is never too embarrassed to carry the mythology one step further with such over-the-top headlines for its editorials prescribing population growth. I do have to give Leigh a tiny bit of credit for...
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Misdemeanor
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The new Cosmos series on Fox and National Geographic is making some waves. It’s nice to see high production value and intellectual content in a television landscape littered with Kardashians, Duggars, moonshiners and house-flippers. I must, however, anoint the series, it’s host, producers and writers with Wall of Shame infamy because of a misstep in the program broadcast on March 23. About 33 minutes into the episode titled When Knowledge Conquered Fear, host Neil deGrasse Tyson got the attention of some sustainable population advocates with this comment about Edmond Halley (who did not discover the comet, but did lay some groundwork in the 17th century for the science of demography): “He...
How much shame?
Misdemeanor
8
Felony

Posted by on in Wall of Shame
This one is a classic. Another archetypal news article that drills it into your head: Economic growth…gooooood. Not having everything hinge on rising GDP, caring about sustainability of resources, and valuing a healthy, happy life… baaaaaaaad. I mean, how is there time to worry about all the latter when you have to worry about constantly growing GDP? It is, after all, the planet around which all else orbits. This CNN Money article by Sophia Yan tells about the woes of the Chinese economy as they face a predicted measly 7.3% GDP growth. The crisis now: China's economy lost momentum in the first quarter and growth in 2014 could fall short of...
How much shame?
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Last Sunday’s New York Times made our Wall of Fame on Monday with an intelligent op-ed about how declining fertility rates is more good news than bad. Our global obsession with economic growth, however, joins overpopulation on the list of humankind’s suicidal behaviors. So my delight on Sunday was tempered somewhat by the Off the Shelf book review of G.D.P.: A Brief but Affectionate History, also in the  Sunday Times. By my judgment, apparently the book is too brief, and overly affectionate. Fred Andrews’ pro-growth perspective is apparent throughout his review. This probably means the book doesn’t offer the important and enlightened view of GDP we so badly need: Our obsession...
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It gets my attention whenever a syndicated columnist considers the possibility we are experiencing the end of economic growth. While that is a bit beyond the grasp of Washington Post economics columnist Robert J. Samuelson, he gets close in this week’s column: “Since the Great Recession, the bland (often unstated) premise has been that the economy would ultimately recover in full. Now, some economists question this and argue that the economic crisis created — or exposed — enduring weaknesses…. Even when producing at “full capacity,” the economy will grow more slowly than in the past or than had been expected.” I’m so glad to see writers pondering the reasons for this...
How much shame?
Misdemeanor
4
Felony


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What is Pro-Growth Bias?

Pro-Growth Bias is reflected in the media by the stories and words chosen, which hint and often trumpet that economic, population, and consumption growth is good and essential. We're here to expose the bias and encourage more balanced and thoughtful journalism. Here you can vote, discuss, and even post stories exemplifying the bias.

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