Main Stream Media vs The Blogosphere – What’s the Economy Really Doing?

Today – straight from the SHTFblog newsroom:

For the last few years I’ve watched the main stream media, and by that I mean large news sites like CNN and MSNBC, try and tell everybody that everything is fine, the economy is improving, they expect housing to go up any minute, etc etc.  They bring in talking heads who talk about how everything is getting better and they expect a couple of percentage points of economic growth next month.  Then the report comes out and there’s been some growth!  Excellent!  Then a few weeks later, maybe mentioned in a blurb in the business section, there’ll be some little tidbit about how last months CPI was downgraded a few percentage points and the real growth either didn’t happen or was less than what they reported earlier.

By now I’ve developed a healthy does of skepticism around what they’re reporting.  In some areas I think they do a top notch job such as the coverage of “The Disaster in Japan.”  They’re making an effort to cover many of the different aspects of the disaster, but the media is looking for ratings and that means when this story stops being sexy they’ll move on to the latest and greatest disaster.  Look at Haiti, it’s barely mentioned in the news any more, but it sure hasn’t gotten any better for those folks down there.  Do you hear about it on MSNBC Nightly News?  I haven’t heard a word about Haiti since the cholera outbreak.

In order to balance reading the mainstream news I then go and read things by Peter Schiff, Chris Martenson, Gerald Celente and other doomers and gloomers, lest I start to believe that thing are actually starting to improve in the economy.

With all of this conflicting information out there in the world who do we believe?  Who is right?  Is the world economy going to come crashing down next week or will we have 1.6% growth next quarter?

Here’s what I’ve noticed in the last few years.

Very few people in the mainstream media (that received any air time) predicted the economic collapse a few years ago.  Peter Schiff seemed to have pegged it pretty well though.  If you’re a follower of Mr. Schiff you’ll know that he’s not a big fan of Keynesian economics and regularly takes pot shots at Ben Bernanke, President Obama and anybody else in the government who gets his attention.

Chris Martenson has the Crash Course and if you’ve taken the time to watch it you’ll see that’s it an extremely well thought-out series of how our economy can’t sustain itself.  He quit a job as a high paid executive and now lives in a small community in Connecticut.  Here’s the latest straight from his web site:

Important note: It is with a heavy heart that I am now issuing the highest level alert to date. The threshold for an alert is one or more world events that personally cause me to take action. The substance of this alert centers on the unknown aftershocks that may result from the world’s third largest economy, Japan, rapidly shifting from an exporter of funding to a consumer of it.

This alert warns you that major world-changing events are now underway and that your personal preparations for an uncertain future should either be completed or take on a new sense of urgency. On the basis of the information contained here and in the past two days of posts, I am personally ratcheting up my preparations, making purchases, and topping off what needs to be topped off.

I have not been this concerned since October of 2008.

What I like about Chris is that he walks the talk.  He’s a believer.

But what to believe?  This is the tough part, so let’s go over some facts that I dug out of the news sites:

  1. The US is so far in debt that there’s no realistic way we’ll ever be able to pay it all back.
  2. Many states are hard pressed to pay their bills right now.
  3. Unemployment is at an official high of 9%, but in all actuality is much higher although it’s hard to say just how high.
  4. The Baby Boomers are coming to retirement age just as Medicare and Medicaid are becoming unaffordable.
  5. Japan’s crisis may affect us at an economic level, but at this point nobody’s sure how hard.
  6. New housing starts are down 22% as of today (March 16, 2011)
  7. High gas prices might cause the economic recovery to slow down.
  8. Food and gas prices are causing inflation to jump – more about inflation here.
  9. Unrest in the middle east is driving gas prices up.
  10. Healthcare costs are spiraling out of control, the US is fighting wars on multiple fronts that we can ill afford, and the government is printing new money, which will debase our currency.

I found these ten things in the mainstream news today.  None of it looks very good.

Then we have the economic Debbie Downers.  Chris Martenson, Gerald Celente, Peter Schiff, James Kuntsler and lots more.  These are intelligent people who take the available data and look at it differently and draw different conclusions from it.   For the most part they talk about economic collapse, peak oil, environmental issues and things of this nature.  And make a pretty good case for it too, I might add.  After reading these guys I’m ready to hunker down with my family and my AR-15 and wait for financial Armageddon and the collapse of civilization.

Now comes the tough part.  Who and what to believe?  On the one hand we’ve got the government and mainstream news feeds telling us everything is fine.  On the other hand we’ve got Schiff and Celente predicting the end of the world, or at the least a big financial crash.

Well, one thing I’ve noticed is that every time someone calls for the end of the world they wind up scratching their heads and looking foolish when the date goes by and nothing happens.  But then there’s Peter Schiff who called the housing bubble.  Now you begin to see how I go back and forth on this whole thing.

Here’s what I do.  First, I read everything with a healthy dose of skepticism.  Then I take a the highs of the media and lows of the blogs and mentally graph them.  Then I run a mental statistical line down the middle and that’s where I think things truly are.

Right now I’ve got to say that things are looking pretty grim; however, I caution you not to run for the hills just yet.  If you have your preps in place you’re far ahead of most of the population.  Don’t panic.  Be ready.  Be vigilant.  Be smart.  Do your research.  No one can truly predict the future and we don’t know what events might come along to help or deter us in our current financial predicament.

What do you believe?

-Jarhead Survivor

22 comments… add one
  • carl March 18, 2011, 8:47 am

    I believe we are in a world of do-do. Which event will be the tipping point and when it will happen is anyones guess. I believe we the readers of this and other blogs should quietly prepare for the absolute worst and hope and prey for the absolute best. I hope we can all sit around the campfire and sing “cumbiah” (spelling). I doubt it but I do hope so.

    I believe that almost any degree of preparedness is better than none. I believe balance is the key to that preparedness. All guns and ammo, or all food is unbalanced and leaves you vunerable.

    I do believe the tipping point to TEOTWAWKI is some time “soon”, what soon means is relative.


  • Spook45 March 18, 2011, 9:12 am

    In the laimstream media, you may see what corpritism is doing or if you know the system you may pick out the new ways they come up with to screw us but in the blogosphere what you get is a dose of reality! We are in the trenches! It is the regular people the true middle class who get and gpo to work everyday and facilitate those fat cats by running thier companies and producing. For real information I prefer the alternitive media. They are real, solid and dont candy coat anything. They tell it like it is and the newest thing is that the alternitive is pushing the laimstream because they report things that are hot that the laimstream tries to hide or bury or in some cases spin into propaganda. When you look at the laimstream for what it is, it really is just a propaganda machine. Back in the day when journalism was real, there were tons of media outlets and copatition. Now there are about three major mogals that own all of the subsidiaries, so if they say the wrong thing, they get fired, corrected and the propaganda goes marily on. For instance, Glenn Beck on CNN; how about the NAFTA Superhwy? When the resistance grew and the local papers started to report on it, the people behind the scene went down the route and bought out every newspaper along the route of the Nafta superhwy and shut them up. This is what I am talking about so now, they try to control content or shut down the internet at thier whims because people are telling the truth and as they do, the reisitance grows. IDK about the rest of you, but I was born free and AMERICAN and I fully intend to DIE THAT WAY! I will noot be a “WORLD CITIZEN” because at some point you must give up being an American to do so. I WILL GLADLY AND PROUDLY DIE before I allow MY COUNTRY to go away and give in to some UN, left wing COMMIE control system. NEGITIVE, not gonna do it, 10-50; NO! thats it in a nutshell.

    • Anonymous March 18, 2011, 1:28 pm

      spook, i’m with you.

    • ChefBear58 March 19, 2011, 3:27 am

      That last bit kicked ASS Spook!! Rock on bud!!!

  • LindaG March 18, 2011, 10:09 am

    Good Morning, Jarhead,

    I must say, I read all of the news about the same way you do…watch/read MSM, coupled with a dozen or so alternate sites, then draw my own conclusions. My problem is I usually get to all of the alternative sites at night….by 1 a.m. (especially THIS week) I’m saying, “I have to go to Costco NOW”. Of course, they’re closed at that hour. By the time I get up in the morning, the level of angst has dropped to a more manageable level…until 1 a.m., of course LOL. But knowing that I have pretty much all I need is very comforting. Really, I just need a few things to top off the ‘1 year’, my angst comes with not having ‘2 years’. But I think it is important to remember to try and not drive ourselves crazy in the process, to keep faith and to remember life is for living and enjoying. There has to be balance.

  • Ranger Man March 18, 2011, 11:28 am

    I believe we’re in a slow slide toward a permanent lower standard of living. There will be ups and downs along the way, but people should start adjusting to living life with less, which has a silver lining onto itself.

  • gat31 March 18, 2011, 11:53 am

    You know a funny thing happened on the way to work one day…
    About 4 years ago l was on my way to work, couldn’t find anything on the radio but commercials, and found myself on talk radio. For the first time in 40 years l was listening to news on purpose. l listened on the way home and found myself nodding my head and saying yep alot. That was the day my former rip van winkle self started waking up.
    For the first 2 years l JUST listened to the radio and pretty much agreed with everything they said and took it as the gospel. Then l spoke to some people online about my new knowledge and thought l was informed. Turns out l had only scratched the surface. They suggested websites to me, people to listen to, but yet l procrastinated because l thought l had enough knowledge and didn’t need it. Then someone gave me a dvd which l let dust collect on for about 3 months. After 3 weeks of did you watch it yet questions l finally did. Then l contacted that same online friend and asked for those websites again.
    Now l read everything. l watch youtube videos, l watch tv shows,and yes even more dvds from friends who have been “awake” a whole lot longer than me. l never watch tv news anymore because l don’t trust any of it. Talk radio on in the car still though l listen with a more practiced ear. l analyze whats being said and how realistic does that sound. If it’s a disaster, l dig deeper, Japan is a natural disater, but do l trust the mainstream media when they say it’s not possible for radiation to reach the U.S.? BP oil spill, do l believe it when they say it was a horrible accident? No l dig deeper and find out who’s behind the cleanup and who bought the company less than a month before it happened. Listen to what you hear, analyze how plausible it sounds, then investigate to death. l became a prepper this year so l’m very new and praying that it’s not too little too late. l don’t know what’s coming or when. l do know with every fiber of my being that the S is gonna HTF and l’m ever so thankful to have found this site and the people who are here have helped me to no end.
    So listen to the news, if it sounds good then investigate further, like jarhead said they are owned by big companies who like to spin things to the positive to keep the sheeple believing the BS.

  • carl March 18, 2011, 12:32 pm

    They keep us in dark and feed us shit…we are mushrooms


    I just had to say it…sorry

  • Jack Fallin March 18, 2011, 12:35 pm

    I have trouble believing anyone. I see and hear the talking heads and watch the stupid lengths they go to get their story and wonder how they were able to leave home alone. No one really knows what is going on because we only get filtered news. Whether it is filtered to your taste depends on where you watch and who you watch. I do believe that the few who try to tell us what they perceive to be the truth are either made to appear to be a certifiable nut case or no one prints or publishes them. By the very nature of blogs like this most of the msm portrays all blogs as written, read and commented on by pure nut jobs. Some are and some aren’t. I have found that having a reasonable knowledge of history either by reading, class room work or living thru it has helped me to glean the BS from the ignorance. Some of what I get thru blogs like this is great and some comes from pluto, which is why I read it. I believe in knowing what people think and when a majority thinks something right or wrong I want to know about it. I don’t know what to expect from the economy. My son is a financial analysis and thinks we are going the right way, he also voted for Obama. He knows better now, but he is still in the financial world and he sees and hears and understands things differently from us mere mortals. He is doing his part by urging people to invest more wisely and take more charge of their own finances. He is also starting to think about prepping a little. Maybe there is hope for him yet. News is designed to sell you whatever the sponsor who pays for it is selling. If Exxon is a sponsor, Oil should not be so heavily regulated and you will see a very good story on why it should be deregulated. Everything you read,see and hear should be taken with some degree of suspicion. WE all knew NPR was a liberal biased network but all of a sudden the msm, is overwhelmed by that news. Believe what you want but if you are smart enough to try to understand the news and care about your family and their future, believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see and be a “hoarder” of those things that will keep you and your loved ones alive. Use your god given brain and intellect and prepare for what you believe and at least you can sleep at night. Most news people are of the mind that we the people are the great unwashed, whatever that is and need to be guided. I believe and in some case I am sure that I am at least as smart as some reporters because I can read and write and try to know wher I am at all times, unlike a lot of reporters. I don’t really want to believe it is an us versus them mentality but all evidence points to the fact that it is. Use your head, that’s why there are brains in it. We all have some free will and if we exercise it we can get smarter which is usually a good thing.

    Semper Fi

  • Jack Fallin March 18, 2011, 12:43 pm

    As a footnote to the diatribe above, I am appreciative of this and many other blogs that I regularly read, I don’t agree with everything but then I don’t agree with myself everyday. I have learned much from these blogs and have also discovered how truly unprepared some people are and how well prepared others are. I have seen much in my 60 years and none of it convinces me that we are improving the planet, ourselves or society in general except occassionally. I preferred to be called a realist rather than a pessimist, a curmudgeon rather than a grumpy old man and I prefer to be wrong if possible but I am preparing as if I am right.
    Peace to all, but negotiat from a position of strength
    Semper Fi

  • 3rdMan March 18, 2011, 1:52 pm

    The simple truth is the truth lays somewhere in the middle.

  • sanityjones March 18, 2011, 10:27 pm

    Lots of well thought out balanced comments here. I threw my television away over ten years ago. I turned off talk radio over five years ago. It’s all sensationalist, ratings oriented drivel. I sort through the major headlines online and merely absorb the facts of the matter as far as they are reported honestly. I call BS on 80% of what I see whether it come from the government or the Doom and Gloomers. One side wants me to borrow myself into oblivion and the other wants me to pay Hellacious premiums on precious metals that I have no need of. Consider the motives of the one delivering the news; in other words follow the money. Get out of debt, take basic and affordable precautionary common sense measures to insulate yourself from whatever perceived evil that may visit you, and relax. Life is short.

    • Sanity Jason March 19, 2011, 12:01 am

      Consider the source, follow the money & call BS on 80% of the news.

      Further you said:

      “Get out of debt, take basic and affordable precautionary common sense measures to insulate yourself from whatever perceived evil that may visit you, and relax. Life is short.”

      Exactly, 100% correct.

      BTW, you can abbreviate blogosphere … BS

  • DHSRWE March 18, 2011, 10:35 pm

    Jarhead, man you are a breath of fresh air…. I’ve been seeing the doom, and then see the MSM gloss over things, and then they’ll try to panic the West coast over radiation…

    Its really surreal how they go about their jobs. They have THEIR agendas, ask the most idiotic questions, and still think they’re the smartest in the room.

    We are in trouble. People are flocking to other currencies this week and the $ is getting pressured, allowing Gold to rise more.

    Where are the people that want the US to thrive? Companies send jobs overseas, gov’t overtaxes companies, sending jobs overseas… Unions get luxury contracts, putting the screws on companies to cut expenses—and send jobs overseas.

    The media exploits so much negative issues that who the heck wants to live here? I mean the US must be trash. We of like mind understand just how great this country can be, an still remains the best country on Earth, but you wouldn’t think so if you listened to the complainers and the Left… and those that hate normal working people.

    I could write for hours about how this society is now so ripe for a self-inflicted demise.

    I recognize that in every era, people thought the world was ending, an maybe we’re no different now. But there is such a convergence of crisis’ that this country will emerge from this time in a much weakener state than at any other time since the Civil War.

    I enjoy your site, I enjoy the fair handedness I’ve seen you give topics. We can only hope to make others aware and educate the next generation the benefits of Freedom and how (if indeed it comes to pass) the greatest experiment in human self-government devolved and perhaps how it can be repaired.
    God bless.

    • Jason March 19, 2011, 12:08 pm

      The media exploits the negative issues because that’s what people want and buy into otherwise, they’d change. They have tried “happy news” but people want the dirt and gravitate in that direction.

      The rise in gold, oil & other commodity prices are primarily affected by negative news & falsely extrapolated events. Those prices will go down as they’ve always done.

      The price of anti radiation pills shot through the roof & people in Nebraska are buying them, why? Media sell job – no brain or supporting documentation just hint about the minutest possibility of personal disaster.

      The MSM is only about acting, sales & ratings, nothing more – think about it, you would be pretty hard pressed to find an ugly newscaster.

      However, the evolution of blogs has swung the pendulum completely to the other extreme remember, for every action there is an equal & opposite reaction.

      As 3rd man so astutely pointed out above –

      The simple truth is the truth that lays somewhere in the middle.

      I believe he’s right.

  • wilson March 18, 2011, 11:00 pm

    Everyone I know believes what they are programmed
    to believe, even when the opposite is right in front of
    their nose, they move along believing their programming
    breathing through their mouth with that stupid look on their face.

  • noisynick March 19, 2011, 10:34 pm

    When I started preppin in the early 90’s I often wondered if i would use up any of my long term stuff. Family was young and for the most part
    poor and scrambling to make it work. Thru all the little challenges in life its worked out things kept Growing and gaining. In 2008 we got to sample alot of all we prepped for a Tornado destroyed our home. Total loss.
    The best part was we salvaged much of our food preps and our gear preps. And our health and our humor. we learned to look at as it is. as long as your breathin your chances are still good NO matter what you go thru.
    The Japanese are stoic and a determined people. There discipline will help them come thru and thrive . We felt that in some way. How you look at things carry you along way as to how you survive things.
    Learn to laugh in the Face of adversity and you’ll Survive and prosper in anything you have to go thru.
    Needless to say we used our preps as intended and since then we have gained more everything but especially our strength………..

  • Joerocker March 21, 2011, 11:01 pm

    I think the msn, congress and tptb are all traitors to the American people.
    I will not live on my knees.
    what ever is coming we will go thru it together.

  • Sheryl March 22, 2011, 11:34 am

    As someone who has just begun preparing, that Chris Martenson quote scares the crap out of me.

    I have been one of the sheeple– fat, in debt, no savings, no stored food or water, no medical supplies, no gun or gun training. My husband and I just came to our senses at the end of February. Now we are trying to get in shape physically and financially, and build up our stores as quickly as possible.

    I signed up for my first gun training class, started putting every spare penny into paying off debt and buying extra food and water. I’m trying to keep my head, and telling myself that I just have to prep the best I can before it all comes down.

    • Jarhead Survivor March 22, 2011, 2:02 pm

      Chris Martenson is so damned *reasonable* when he talks about the end of the economy isn’t he?

      Anyway, it ain’t over ’til it’s over, so just keep doing what you’re doing. Paying off your debt and starting to put aside food and water is an excellent place to start. Keep reading the sites and you’ll start to see a pattern of things you should do. And of course keep coming back here to for more great info! :-)

  • photocopiers kent August 1, 2011, 9:40 pm

    I like what you guys are up too. Such smart work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my web site :)


Leave a Comment