No serious person would argue for making policy based on movements in the stock market. Everyone knows that its day to day movements are driven by mass psychology, they tell us virtually nothing about the actual situation of the economy. That is why it was so pathetic when President Bush seized on the stock market plunge on Monday as evidence of the need for his bailout package.

If the media had been responsible, they would have ridiculed Bush for adopting such an absurd scare tactic to gain support for his plan. Instead, the media seized on this point and began running around to people with holdings in the stock market and asked them how they felt about the plunge. They got experts to talk about what the plunge meant to 401(k)s, as well as what it meant for public and private pensions. In other words, the media did their best to convince the public that the stock market plunge demonstrated the urgency of the bailout.

Okay, so let’s see if the media can apply a consistent standard for a whole week. Now that Congress has passed the bailout, the stock market is even lower than it was on Monday. Where are the stories about all the people who lost money in the stock market, the stories about vanishing 401(k)s and crumbling public and private pension plans? If it was important to talk about the stock market plunge when it could be blamed on Congress’ rejection of the bailout, why isn’t important to talk about the even lower stock prices after Wall Street got its bailout?

Oxdown Diaries

Oxdown Diaries