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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Economy Sizzles; Media Celebrate Return to Robust Destruction This morning the United States Department of Commerce released its advanced estimate of 2nd quarter National Income and Product Accounts – GDP. An annualized growth rate of about 3% was widely anticipated, so the 4 percent figure reported today will undoubtedly be celebrated – by the White House, growth profiteers counting their money, growth propheteers on the business news networks, and economic reporters. All will be celebrating a number which, in truth, measures how fast the U.S. is liquidating the planet of nonrenewable resources, how fast we’re replacing wildlife habitat and farms with mcmansions on cul-de-sacs, and how much CO2 we’re...
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Colorado River Day: Major Fail by Media and Conservationists Last Friday was Colorado River Day, as I was reminded by an email from Save the Colorado. So I have some interesting observations on the small flurry of media coverage, particularly with the recent news that Lake Mead hit a record low level (39% of capacity) this summer. According to the Colorado River Day website, “This is a day on which people come together across divides in support of maintaining a sustainable Colorado River.” Yet as I perused a litany of opinion pieces and news stories, I found no mention of the unsustainable behavior that, unchanged, renders the myriad plans to “save...
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AP Trifecta of Pro-Growth Bias in Reporting Associated Press offered so much judgment in recent days that more spending, consumption and economic growth are desirable, I’m having to spotlight three stories at once here on the Wall of Shame: In New US Home Sales Plunge 8.1% In June, there is a clear assumption that building more houses is an unalloyed good. A drop in the number of new houses sold is reported as, “a sign that real estate continues to be a weak spot in the economy.” Construction and sale of more houses would apparently create a “stronger” economy. What are the criteria the reporter, analysts and policymakers...
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Nevada: Lack of Water a Mere Speed Bump on Road to Eternal Growth Yesterday I featured a story on the Wall of Shame about the water level in Lake Mead hitting a record low. The story brought up the fact that the Colorado River was already over-appropriated before Hoover Dam was built, but made no further mention of population growth’s role in slowly killing this river. I scolded reporter Henry Brean for failing to explore the madness of cities that depend on this river, like Las Vegas, continuing to pursue growth. Today I offer an example of that. Here’s another story by Brean, Southern Nevada Delegation Bound For International Water Gathering In Singapore, with a...
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Lake Mead Sinks To A Record Low We could pretty much pile ALL the reporting on the California drought into one big Wall of Shame post for completely ignoring the obvious imbalance between water supply and population in the American West. These types of crises happen when a region is in overshoot. But today I’ll just pick on Henry Brean and the Las Vegas Review-Journal for the latest offense. “Lake Mead sank to a record this week, its surface nudging downward a few tenths of an inch late Wednesday night to 1,081.82 feet above sea level.” Lake Mead Sinks to a Record Low is a headline we’d all...
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Rupert Murdoch: Health, Safety & Environment Hamper Piggy Bank Growth Global media mogul and growth-pusher/profiteer Rupert Murdoch makes today’s Wall of Shame for pushing G20 member nations to get out of the way of corporations so they can kick economic growth into higher gear. “We live in a world where we pat ourselves on the back if our economy achieves 2 per cent or 2? per cent growth even though we have ever-growing numbers of unemployed and under-employed…. Meanwhile, in China, achieving 7 per cent growth would be considered a slump.” Murdoch is one of the world’s richest, a billionaire, but he thirsts for more. This story in The Australian included Murdoch’s...
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