The Balance Sheet

New from the Business & Media Institute Media Myths: The Housing Bubble Is Bursting The housing market is set to come crashing down or so the media say. The trouble is, theyve been saying it for four long years now. Even the Feds chairman and soon-to-be chairman have assured the public that local markets are where the action is, but the media continue the national hype. The Business & Media Institute debunks this media myth by taking a look at news coverage versus the reality of the still-strong market. Bubble, Bubble, Its the Media in Trouble Its hard to take... continue reading
New from the Business & Media Institute As GM Goes, So Go the Media General Motors has had its share of trials - renegotiating worker benefits and now closing plants. The media continue to blame the auto manufacturer's worries on high gas prices and foreign automakers. The glaring omission in the coverage is the United Auto Workers, the union that has driven GM's costs to unsustainable heights. Pilgrims and Ingrates There's a lot to be thankful for this year. Americans have pulled through two devastating hurricanes, and the economy has rebounded and continued growing. People are working hard to bring... continue reading
New from the Business & Media Institute The Trouble with Forecasting The media have been hyping higher costs for home heating this winter. The trouble is, forecasting natural gas prices can be about as accurate as predicting the weather. The Energy Department's projections for winter have dropped for the past two months, but broadcasters continue to warn consumers without acknowledging the good news the energy supply recovered quickly from Hurricane Katrina. Media at Large: Foxs Changing Climate Home heating shouldnt be a problem much longer, if the medias full acceptance of global warming is any indication of whats really happening... continue reading
New from the Business & Media Institute A Simple Plan? The president's tax panel delivered a complicated proposal that would merely shift the tax code's winners and losers. Still, the media bought into the idea that it was simplifying, focusing on deductions scrapped and, like the panel, avoiding the issue of real reform. Econ 101: The Role of the Courts in the Economy As the Senate considers the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, Dr. Gary Wolfram, an economics professor and Business & Media Institute adviser, reminds us why courts were established: to protect our freedoms. To preserve... continue reading
New from the Business & Media Institute Fueling Outrage The media love David and Goliath stories, and theyve manufactured another one pitting the Poor Innocent Consumer vs. Big Bad Oil. The problem is, oil companies didnt set the prices that led to their recent high profits. That was the work of old-fashioned market forces. Now angry consumers and politicians want to hit the companies with new taxes, which would limit the gasoline supply ironically, the opposite of their goal to make gas more accessible. Herman Cain: Punishing Profits Politicians on the left and the right are calling for a windfall... continue reading
New from the Business & Media Institute Whos Afraid of a Little Inflation? Disco is just a party theme or a radio station playlist nowadays, but the media are clamoring about the 1970s. As several economists have pointed out, worries about widespread neo-Carter-era inflation based on higher gas prices are overblown and economically incorrect. Attack on Avian Flu Drug Patent a Major Threat World governments are refusing to recognize Roches patent on Tamiflu, the anti-viral medication many believe to be the hope for avian flu patients. As leaders from the United Nations to the U.S. Senate press for the pharmaceutical... continue reading
New from the Business & Media Institute Lobbying for Extra Credit Bankruptcy reform took effect this week, despite the medias arguments against it. The Business & Media Institute took a look at network coverage of the bill, from proposal to law, and found the networks using victims of Hurricane Katrina to lobby for a delay. Calling bankruptcy a fresh start and a safety net, journalists failed to consider the new law as a curb on abuse of the legal system. Flat-Out Un-Fair: Tax Fix More than a Four-Letter Word The presidents panel on tax reform was supposed to simplify the... continue reading
New from the Business & Media Institute Media Wont Rest until Taxes Are Raised Were fighting terrorists. Were rebuilding the Gulf Coast. Can we do all this without tax increases? is the media refrain. In post-Katrina tax coverage, 59 percent of network news stories suggested raising taxes. They turned to everyone from Bill Clinton to the man on the street make the case. Econ 101: Should the Government Plan Cities? Dr. Gary Wolfram, professor of economics at Hillsdale College and adviser to the Business & Media Institute, explains why property owners in the storm region are the best ones to... continue reading
New from the Business & Media Institute 'Compassion over Contracts' Lawyers are attacking insurance contracts in the Gulf region, claiming private insurers should pick up the tab for uninsured hurricane losses. The devastation is heartbreaking, and the media are allowing themselves to get caught up in victims stories. But they are failing to point out that an attack on a contract is an attack on the viability of the industry itself. Herman Cain: Free the Gas Market President Bush has had some good ideas about lifting government restrictions that squeeze our gasoline supply. Americans are conserving, but demand is rising... continue reading
New from the Business & Media Institute More Doom That Wasnt Broadcasters have been at it again in the 24-hour speculation cycle, predicting gasoline topping $4 and $5 a gallon. But Hurricane Rita didnt hit as hard as they thought, and another round of sensationalistic reporting falls flat as gas prices gain just 6 cents. Commentary: High Tide in Mississippi Trial lawyers and the Mississippi attorney general are going after insurance companies to pay uninsured flood damages. The media have taken their side, choosing to show decimated homes and suffering people while overlooking the fact of the contracts that were... continue reading