19 Out of 20 People Got This Question on Poverty Wrong Because the Media Lies to Us Non-Stop

You’d be forgiven for mistaking modern cable news for a Michael Moore documentary come to life and screened 24 hours a day. Americans watching those channels for their news may form some shocking opinions about their country and the world, however.
When asked whether extreme poverty had risen, fallen, or stayed the same over the past 20 years, 95% of respondents from the United States were unable to give the correct answer.
Only one in 20 knew (or guessed) that poverty worldwide underwent a drastic reduction — only half of what it was two decades ago.
The survey, prepared and presented by the Stockholm-based non-profit group Gapminder, covered 12,000 respondents in 14 countries, according to HumanProgress.
Three Scandinavian countries canvassed had a larger percentage of correct answers, but were still below the 33% threshold random guesses would have likely left them with. 
Why do so many people believe world poverty is getting worse?
It may have something to do with media rhetoric.
One example of a term the mainstream media has slipped into the cultural zeitgeist is the “wealth gap.” This is the measure of money in between the poorest and the richest. You don’t need to search hard to find this – USA Today published an opinion piece on this just Monday, replete with all the scary buzzwords: “economic inequality,” “wealth divide,” “regressive economy,” and, of course, the “wealth gap” itself.
The New York Times took it a step further in an article last week that even linked climate change with the widening wealth gap. 
The argument here implies that as the wealth gap grows, it can only mean the rich are getting richer, while the poor are becoming even poorer.
In reality, this isn’t how it works.
The gap, commonly parroted to be the result of racist and capitalist policies, only measures the difference between the two groups, not how well each group is doing compared to its past self. And as The Atlantic noted, even though the wealth gap is increasing, more poor in America are escaping from poverty since the financial collapse of 2008. This is true for all ethnic groups in the U.S., not just a select few. 
Despite this, Bernie Sanders and others who share his leanings want to close that gap as much as possible. Their proposed “fixes” often take the form of a wealth tax, with the resulting money distributed to the poor via welfare programs and sometimes outright cash payouts.
But beyond issues facing Americans, the media often pitches global poverty as a problem that sits on the shoulders of the United States to fix. 
An opinion piece published in the Chicago Tribune last week even puts the pressure on U.S. colleges to be the tip of the spear in the battle to eliminate world poverty.
With Donald Trump in the White House, it’s no wonder liberal media outlets are quick to paint such a grim picture of the world. Their nation-ending prophecies didn’t come true when Trump was elected into office.
The economy didn’t crash, and we haven’t been pulled into a third world war.
Instead, the economy is humming (even if Democrats can’t admit it) and even the poor are more optimistic than in the past.
So, the media has been forced to shift the narrative. No longer promising the doom and gloom of a Trump administration, the mainstream media has turned to seemingly inventing world problems as a way to show that the Trump era isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
Unfortunately, many still get their news solely from mainstream sources, and with no conflicting voices, they fall easy prey to believing the narratives pushed by these organizations.
19 Out of 20 People Got This Question on Poverty Wrong Because the Media Lies to Us Non-Stop 19 Out of 20 People Got This Question on Poverty Wrong Because the Media Lies to Us Non-Stop Reviewed by CUZZ BLUE on May 01, 2019 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. What will be the "correct" answer when global markets and the financial system implodes? It's all relative.


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