George Will provides some for you in today’s column:
When the economy grew by just 2.6 percent in 2014’s fourth quarter, The New York Times headline cheerfully said “Economy Pulls Ahead.” The story said the U.S. economy is “an island of relative strength” in a world facing “renewed torpor and turmoil.” This was defining failure down.
The Wall Street Journal said “U.S. Economy Hits Speed Bumps,” as though speedy growth had been normal for a while. The speeding had consisted of one quarter (2014’s third) of 5 percent growth. But the economy had gone 43 consecutive quarters without 5 percent growth, the longest such period since the government began keeping the pertinent records in 1947. And even with this third quarter, growth for 2014 was just 2.4 percent, making this the ninth consecutive year under 3 percent. During the recovery from the recession of 1981-82, there were five quarters of 7 percent or higher growth, and five years averaged 4.6 percent growth.
There also was unmerited triumphalism about November’s job growth of 353,000. This was just the fifth month of 300,000-plus growth in the 68 months since the sluggish recovery began in June 2009. In the 1960s, there were nine months of 300,000-plus job creation — and at its highest, in 1969, the nation’s population was nearly 118 million smaller than today’s. In the 1980s, there were 23 months of 300,000-plus jobs, and the nation’s population in 1989 was 73 million smaller than today’s 320 million.
You expect this sort of thing from the New York Times, but it’s sad when even the Wall Street Journal spins the New Normal as a positive.