You Deserve An Honest Conversation About The Economy.
We’re living through a renaissance of political-economic thought. Thinkers across the country are resurrecting and updating older traditions; fusing once-separate schools of thought; and developing completely novel approaches to solve today’s problems, from climate change to financialization to monetary policy to healthcare.
Your average New York Times reader or MSNBC watcher is barely aware of this.
The same neoliberal centrists who’ve guided economic policy since the 1990’s are still the talking heads who most of the mainstream media turn to for explanations of economic phenomena. They’re still serving up the same ideas they had 30 years ago…the ideas that led us into our current polycrisis.
Never mind that these blabbermouths guided us to staggering inequality, widespread precarity, and pending ecological collapse.
Never mind that, in many cases, these people are cashing checks from corporations and wealthy benefactors who have a clear interest in what their patrons are saying to the world.
Never mind that many of these analysts flaunt titles that have nothing to do with their actual primary sources of income. Most of these people are still introduced as a “former Obama advisor” or “former Clinton advisor,” even if they haven’t served in the federal government in decades. Few of the “professors” actually live on their academic salaries. Instead, they enjoy exorbitant consulting, investing, or shadow-lobbying gigs. Little, if any, of this is ever mentioned to news consumers.
In cases like these, the supposed “economic experts” can often end up doing what their theories say, even if they’d never admit it: they act in their rational self-interest, even when doing so is unethical. They use their national news platform to shape public opinion in ways that are favorable for their investments or clients, instead of speaking earnestly and honestly.
It’s one thing to turn to ask an expert for their opinion, and for that expert to end up being wrong. Everyone’s wrong sometimes. When you are, you ought to admit it and try to learn for next time.
It’s very different if our main national sources for civic information are only ever turning to people who are constantly wrong, and constantly demeaning to others with more accurate views.
If you never learn and never grow, but always demand deference from others, then you’re not an expert — you’re a Hack.
Our goal with Hack Watch is to:
- •Name the bad actors
- •Explain why they’re wrong
- •Explain their conflicts of interest
- •Demand that the mainstream media recognize there’s other, better-informed perspectives out there.
Hack Watch is a project of the Revolving Door Project. If you like what we’re doing here, please subscribe to our Substack and share around. If you have advice on who to look into, drop us a line at email@example.com.