Derek Thompson at The Atlantic asks “Has the Media Totally Forgotten About the Unemployed?”:
“On Capitol Hill, any trace of job-oriented stimulus has melted with the winter snow. Instead, the city's hot for deficit reduction, and the press has caught the fever.
Articles mentioning unemployment have plummeted nearly 70 percent since last summer, while articles mentioning the deficit have doubled over the same time, according to a National Journal report.”
But Mr. Thompson doesn’t blame the media for this alleged lack of attention to unemployment and the unemployed. He blames the Republicans:
“Is this pernicious Beltway loopism? Maybe. But more likely it's the inevitable result of an election that punished stimulus-happy Democrats and opened the doors wide for Republicans who promised to focus with maniacal intensity on the deficit. The 2010 election reshaped Congress, the Congress reshaped the jobs-and-deficit debate, and press coverage shifted to the deficit.”
But let me suggest another reason why, perhaps, Congress, and thus the media, don’t seem as interested in unemployment – at least in the way they were interested in 2009 when Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House and Democratic committee chairs were running Congress (and the debate).
Maybe it’s because enough people have figured out, whether based on history or on what has happened over the last 28 months, that government can’t do that much about getting the economy re-started, which is the way to get the unemployment rate down, with things such as stimulus programs, car-buying subsidies (remember “cash for clunkers”), tax credits for first-time home buyers, etc. Maybe they have figured out that huge government deficits aren’t the way to get growth in the private economy. Maybe they care about unemployment, but they don’t think that more and more government is the answer.
Actually, maybe they now think that the better way to get the economy going, and unemployment down, is for government to keep things simple for the people who actually help the economy grow and create jobs: entrepreneurs, businesses (especially smaller businesses). Simple rules. Simple taxes. No unnecessary red-tape and interference. But that is a post for another day.