Ed Driscoll

The Return of the Son of the 'Unexpectedly' Bad Economic News


Clicking on this screen cap will “unexpectedly” enlarge it to full size.

And yes, once again, it’s Bloomberg News; where post-2009, bad economic news is always a surprise. This latest example was spotted by Power Line’s John Hinderaker, who writes:

The recovery of 2009 to the present is the weakest–by far–of any postwar recovery. Unemployment and poverty are sky-high because economic growth is anemic. But why is growth so sluggish? After all, there are powerful forces that should be driving the economy forward, foremost among them the North American energy boom. Take the current data on manufacturing: it has been widely reported that manufacturing is returning to the U.S. because cheap energy here, the result of the shale oil and gas revolution, balances out lower labor costs in Asia. But if this is the case–and it is–then why is domestic manufacturing declining?

America’s slow-to-nonexistent economic growth, of which today’s manufacturing data are one of many symptoms, is the result of bad government policies: out-of-control regulations, excessive and inefficient government spending, rising tax rates and the impending disaster of Obamacare, to name the most obvious ones. Until observers are willing to acknowledge the extent to which poor government drags down the economy, they will continue to be surprised by unexpected bad news.

As the Say Anything blog noted in 2011:

This end of the blogosphere has enjoyed a delicious running joke for much of Barack Obama’s presidency…the strange appearance of the word “unexpectedly” in MSM coverage of the anemic economic recovery.  Of course, many of us knew that Dear Leader’s economic policies would either amount to nothing and/or inhibit economic growth even as they were being debated, so there was nothing unexpected about the result.  Still, the joke has only gotten funnier (sadder?) as time has worn on and it becomes clearer and clearer that the man-who-has-never-had-a-real-job-yet-occupies-the-White-House has no clue what he is doing when it comes to the economy. (For our purposes here, we ignore the not-so-outlandish notion that perhaps he knows exactly what he is doing, but that robust economic growth, if it is the result of typical laissez-faire American capitalism, is not his goal.)

Anyway, this joke – and the point it reveals – has finally made it somewhat mainstream via the good offices of Michael Barone, who makes it the central theme of this Washington Examiner column.

It’s certainly not exclusive to them, but the “unexpectedly” disease seems to have hit Bloomberg News particularly hard. Despite having a reputation as a business-savvy news agency, given how its namesake founder made his bones, and that in 2009, it acquired the left-leaning economic magazine Businessweek, Bloomberg News has become notorious as the home of the “unexpectedly” bad economic news, as it carries water for Mr. Obama. Add the latest example above to these screen caps of earlier “unexpecteds,” which we spotted here and here, and in particular, our big heaping pile of “unexpectedlys,” here.