How can you tell that the economy is really improving? One hint might be that Fox “News” has become so desperate that they have to take their own poll out of context to distort the most recent economic data.
On the Fox show, “Outnumbered,” host Harris Faulkner presents a poll that was conducted by Fox News, asking people’s opinion of how they think the economy is doing. The question asked of those polled was, “For you and your family, does it feel like the economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying the same?”
The results of the poll were unambiguous. Compared to one year ago, people are much more optimistic about the economy. Forty four percent said it was getting better, compared to 34 percent in March 2014. Forty three percent said that it was getting worse, compared to 51 percent who had that opinion a year ago. And what does the graphic directly under those numbers say?
Fox poll: More than four in ten Americans feel that economy is getting worse.
Faulkner starts out the segment with some accurate numbers. She observes that the addition of 295,000 private sector jobs in February marks the twelfth straight month that the economy has added more than 200,000 jobs. She also notes that the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.5 percent. She accurately describes how the real unemployment number is higher than the official one, due to people who are no longer looking for work, and therefore no longer counted in the official unemployment rate. Then the spin begins.
Faulkner tells the audience:
Despite reports of an improving economy, a large number of you are apparently not feeling it. A new Fox News poll finds 43% feel like the economy is getting worse and not better. That is almost as many number of people who feel things are improving.
True enough. But at no time does Faulkner bother to point out that the poll’s numbers indicate that more people are feeling better about the economy than they were just a year ago. The decline in the number of those who think the economy is getting worse, and the improvement in the number who think it is getting better, compared to last year, is never mentioned.
Media Matters points out that this month represents an 11 year high in Americans’ opinions about the economy. They go on to say that the U-6 unemployment rate, which is the rate that Faulkner refers to when she says that real unemployment is around 11 percent, is also lower than it was a year ago, having dropped from 12.6 percent in February 2014.
The panel talks about how the jobs that have come back are “high end, and low end” jobs, and how wages are stagnant, without mentioning that, thanks to outsourcing, the U.S. has lost over three million jobs to China since 2001. Many of those jobs were in manufacturing, the “middle class” jobs the panel is lamenting the loss of. The vast majority of those jobs were lost during the Bush administration.
Panelist Tucker Carlson says that the people on the coasts are doing fine, but it’s the people in the middle of the country who are hurting, ignoring the recent data that says that unemployment fell in every state for the first time in 30 years. And, for those waiting for the inevitable attack on Obamacare, that is provided by Andrea Tantaros, who repeats the repeatedly debunked claim that the Affordable Care Act has forced people into part time work.
Here’s the segment from the March 6 edition of “Outnumbered,” via Media Matters:
Image via screen capture from Media Matters/Fox News