Tuning out the bad news

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Smart Money, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. Ok, I know this will get some heckles, but I've noticed that many of my friends have confessed to me that they're starting to tune out the bad economic news.

    So I'm just wondering a few things:

    Can bad news about the economy feed on itself? I mean...could over-reporting of the bad economic conditions cause people to change their spending habits more than they would otherwise?

    And if so, could they become jaded by that news and start to ignore it and resume old habits?

    Remember the illness, SARs? It was all over the news, and made the cover of many well respected magazines. But by the time it was supposed to spread here (the good ole USA), I never heard about it anymore. Is the reason for it because news articles on SARS didn't sell as much news? How much is our economy influenced by the news? And how much of the news content is governed by what people will pay to worry about? (i.e., like paying to see a slasher movie or something?)

  2. maxpi


    If it bleeds it leads, that's the rule of thumb in news... SARS never was news that much, it never started migrating from birds to humans. Quite possibly the news did prompt the government to action, the known path for mutation to human to human infection was birds to hogs to humans, hogs have a physiology close enough to humans for that to happen, birds don't. The US enacted procedures for people that handle both birds and hogs so the spread would not be so easy.. SARS was overblown... i fear that the financial disaster may be way underreported really, since the level of understanding of nearly anything by reporters seems to be quite limited...

    Lots of people tune out the news entirely just to preserve their happiness... I could tune out ET and the news and I probably would be a little happier come to think of it :D