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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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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Slow Pace of Planetary Destruction Disappoints Black Friday Fizzles With Consumers as Sales Tumble 11% What does this headline tell us about our culture? Bloomberg reports today that retail sales during the 2014 Black Friday weekend did not increase over last year’s spending: “Spending tumbled an estimated 11 percent over the weekend from a year earlier, the Washington-based National Retail Federation said yesterday. And more than 6 million shoppers who had been expected to hit stores never showed up.” This report by Lauren Coleman-Lochner earns Wall of Shame status by sticking with outdated, unenlightened assumptions – that more shopping is good, and we needn’t be concerned about...
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Consumer Spending Showing Renewed Life USA Today’s Paul Davidson fell into all the classic traps in reporting that, “The American consumer has a pulse, after all.” This news story goes beyond reporting the facts about rising U.S. retail sales. The assumption that more consumption is good news is evident throughout.  “The improvement marks a shift from a couple of months ago, when rising food and gas prices, along with modest wage growth, threatened to undercut forecasts for brisker consumer spending.” American “consumers” stepped up purchases of automobiles, furniture, electronics, sporting goods and clothing. Davidson calls this an “improvement.” A scientist assessing our ecosystems and resources would call it...
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Weird Al Yankovic: Killing the Planet a Laughing Matter It’s not often we get to laugh here at Growth Bias Busted. Saving the planet, and saving a civilization from itself, is serious business. It is a real treat, therefore, to honor a comedic song and video on the Wall of Fame today. With First World Problems, Weird Al Yankovic has done a masterful job of holding up a mirror to the billion people on the planet living lives of excess and daring to complain about it. “I bought too many groceries for my refrigerator” Yes, it’s brilliant. And apparently people are recognizing it. Yankovic’s new album, Mandatory Fun, debuted as...
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The American Dream: What Do We Want for Our Kids? Robert Samuelson’s latest syndicated column expressed the very real concerns of parents in the U.S., perhaps in most developed nations: “I have three 20-somethings, and although all are now gainfully occupied in jobs or school, I am awash in anxiety about their future. Will jobs be there? Will they be stable? Will they pay enough? Will they encourage our children to start families of their own?” It’s true, gone are the days when a college degree virtually guaranteed a job and a decent wage. A college education is more expensive than ever, while job offers are scarce and starting salaries disappointing. College...
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