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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Death-Cab for Singapore Singapore’s Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) adorns our Wall of Shame this morning for demonstrating it is completely clueless about the value of calculating ecological footprint, and certainly about the meaning of the word "sustainabiity." In a news release last week the Ministry defended its poor ranking in WWF’s recently released 2014 Living Planet Report. The report ranked Singapore 7th highest global footprint per capita (the U.S. ranked 8th). This apparently rankled the bureaucrats at MEWR. On October 7 an editorial in The Real Singapore underscored the unsustainability of Singapore’s footprint. The headline alone hurt MEWR’s feelings: WWF: IF EVERYONE...
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Oh, the Woes of Global Growth! Global Growth Woes Threaten to Beset U.S. Economy. This Wall Street Journal report earns a spot on the Wall of Shame as a textbook example of pro-growth bias in the media. It’s evident writers Josh Zumbrun and Nick Timiraos were suckled on the Kool-Aid of growth worship: “The specter of deflation in Europe and a slowdown in China and other emerging markets are threatening to hobble the U.S. economy at a time when the world could use a reliable growth engine.” It’s easy to think the world needs a “growth engine” when you don’t slow down and consider what year-over-year economic...
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Drastically Declining Critical Thought in Population Reporting Last week at Growth Bias Busted was all about economic growth. It’s apparently time to turn to population growth, as the Korea JoongAng Daily got my attention with, Drastically Declining Birthrate Raises Serious Fears, a ridiculous example of “birth-dearth” fear mongering posing as a news story. “Unless Korea’s birthrate starts to increase, the population could be no more by 2750.” Reporter Ser Myo-ja was probably pressed for time, so no critical thought went into this story, and a lifetime of pro-growth programming produced this: “That prediction may sound slightly exaggerated, perhaps even fictional, but signs of a bleak future for the...
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Paul Krugman Digging Way to China New York Times columnist and Princeton economics professor Paul Krugman finds himself once again on the Wall of Shame at Growth Bias Busted. Over the past few weeks Krugman has been providing a delicious demonstration of the old Will Rogers adage: “If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.” At the risk of over-cooking, today we roast Paul Krugman for his October 7 blog post, Slow Steaming and the Supposed Limits to Growth. To fully enjoy this feast of foolishness, we should go back a few weeks to when Krugman first picked up this particular...
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IMF: Repealing Laws of Physics Taking Longer Than We Thought As G-20 finance ministers and central bankers meet today in the U.S., we hoist the International Monetary Fund (and The Guardian's Larry Elliott) onto the Wall of Shame. The G-20 and the IMF are complicit in a scheme to repeal the laws of physics. Their plan: keep on growing the global economy even though the scale of the human enterprise outgrew the Earth’s ability to sustainably support us some 40 years ago. We really should call today’s G-20 gathering a GA Meeting (growthaholics anonymous). In IMF Says Economic Growth May Never Return to Pre-Crisis Levels, Guardian correspondent Larry Elliott approached the...
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Assumptions About Economy Sink to New Low CNBC Senior Economics Reporter Steve Liesman makes our Wall of Shame this morning for this unsurprising example of pro-growth bias in reporting. When you get right down to it, the growth boosterism displayed by every anchor and correspondent on the business news cable networks actually raises the question: should we even call this “news” or “journalism?” “Despite an improving economy and the lowest unemployment rate in six years, Americans' views of President Barack Obama's economic leadership stands at the lowest level of his presidency, according to the latest CNBC All-America Economic survey.” Liesman’s report, headlined Confidence in Obama on Economy Sinks to...
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