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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Posted by on in Wall of Shame
Obama Economy Needs Boost? The headline above this op-ed in the Washington Times is a textbook example of why politicians feel they must promise and deliver a booming economy: Under Obama, Economic Growth Withers We routinely throw them out of office if elected officials preside over a recession or a lackluster recovery. In this piece, Charles Ortel goes out of his way to make the U.S. President pay the price for an economy that doesn’t measure up to his standard for what an economy should do. “…financial sophisticates do not believe the economic-growth story that the Obama administration so ham-handedly still tries to sell.” I’m...
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Be a Vegan Monk and Crank Out All the Babies You Want How the New York Times covers growth issues matters. The Times gets a large number of eyeballs and has a reputation that gives this news organization a lot of influence. That’s why I’m going back a couple of months to resurrect Andrew Revkin’s commentary about the link between population and climate change: On the Path Past 9 Billion, Little Crosstalk Between U.N. Sessions on Population and Global Warming We can always count on Revkin’s Dot Earth blog for informed, thoughtful news and perspectives. As I read this, I was getting the feeling I’d honor it on the Wall of Fame.  “Largely...
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U.S. to China: Mine Will Once Again be Bigger than Yours Carl Gibson’s How the U.S. Can Sustainably Become the World's Top Economy Again had potential. It all depends on whether “top” means “healthiest” or “biggest.” Unfortunately, the author has apparently been programmed to believe bigger is better, so he delivers than completely unsustainable message here. The size of China’s economy (the amount of annual economic throughput, as measured by GDP) surpassed that of the U.S. this year. This has caused consternation in the U.S., where policymakers, pundits, the general public, and many journalists believe we are in a competition – to see who has the biggest. Gibson: “China has overtaken the U.S. as...
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Colorado Water Plan: Grow Now, Worry Later Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper debuts on the Wall of Shame for a post yesterday on his Facebook page (another first for Growth Bias Busted). Thanks to Gary Wockner of SaveThe Colorado for alerting me to this. Post by John W. Hickenlooper. An influential politician is celebrating growth and spreading pro-growth mythology. Nothing to see here; move along. But in this case we get a direct link to some of the programming that turns an elected official into a high priest of the church of growth everlasting. Governor Hickenlooper (or a member of his staff) was reacting to a story in the Denver Business...
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U.S. Economic Stats Spark Growth Lovefest In recent weeks, the U.S. Government has released economic statistics that made the news media feel all gooey and mushy. The fastest GDP growth in a decade and the most job growth in three years set off celebrations of growth. The Holy Grail is in our grasp. On Friday Wall of Shame regular Christopher Rugaber’s AP story about the jobs numbers included this quote from Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics: "They indicate that the U.S. economy is on very solid ground." That AP story inspired headlines like these: Job Gains Put US on Pace for Best Growth Since '99 (ABC News)...
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Pace of Ecosystem Destruction Falters, But Not to Worry Earlier this week, Associated Press published a classic illustration of pro-growth media bias. It starts with this headline: Factory Growth Slips, But Still Healthy The implication of the headline is that slower factory growth might be considered unhealthy. In fact, reporter Christopher Rugaber’s story does rest on the fundamental assumption that more factory production is healthy, strong, and universally desired. “…production and hiring slowed, though the level of activity remained strong.” Rugaber signals his belief in the Holy Grail of economic growth: “Manufacturing has been a key driver of growth this year, as Americans have ramped up their purchases of autos and...
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