Today on the Chicago Tribune's front page, above the fold, is the headline "Pricey gas seen as good, in a way." The story also appears on the Los Angeles Times's Web site with the title "Gas prices' jump attests to upbeat economy." Yes, happy days are here again and much of the mainstream media are feeling glad all over, hoping the purported much-improved economy will enhance President Barack Obama's re-election bid. The article notes:
The U.S. recovery has solidified through the fall and so far this year, as shown by strong job reports and last week's news of 1.1% increase in retail sales in February.
The job reports aren't really that strong when you consider the recession ended almost three years ago, as determined by National Bureau of Economic Research, and this is the most sluggish recovery in post-WWII history. As to the increase in February's retail sales, the Associated Press reported:
One factor driving the retail sales increase was a 3.3% rise in gasoline sales last month. It was the biggest increase in nearly a year and reflected a surge in gas prices.
So let's see how this works: Higher gas prices are a significant factor in increased retail sales, which in turn are a reflection of a stronger economy, which in turn is a reason gas prices are higher. Yep, definitely a win-win situation. And ain't Obama doing just one heck of a job?
In recent weeks we've seen press items contending the president can do little, if anything, about higher gas prices. Also we've seen the stories suggesting that, placed in "proper" perspective, gas prices aren't really all that high. Now we're instructed that sky-high prices are just more evidence that the economy is rebounding.
The truth is the mainstream media, having helped sell the American electorate on an unvetted empty suit in 2008, are heavily invested in making him appear a success. We can expect much more of the same through November.