Amidst all the noise of the 2012 presidential election, Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler believes one important story has not been heard by the media: economic growth.
Winkler gave a lecture to a crowd of about 250 people Tuesday in the George Watts Hill Alumni Center. Entitled “2012: The Economy Election,” his speech addressed the influence the economy has had on the 2012 presidential election.
Winkler told the crowd the belief that the U.S. economy is still crumbling is a misconception, and an overwhelming amount of evidence supports this idea.
He gave a monthly outline of the economy since August 2011, citing examples that the housing slump has bottomed, the average American household and savings rate has increased, foreign debt has decreased and dollar assets are becoming more prominent.
“There is a connection between level of interest rates, the dollar, housing and investing,” Winkler said. “At the moment, the U.S. is probably in the preferred place for global investment.”
But Winkler said growth since the pivotal month of August 2011 has not been reported well in the 2012 campaign.
“This issue is not widely covered, not widely reported and not widely discussed by either candidate,” Winkler said.
Winkler also expressed uncertainty about the outcome of the 2012 election.
“A year ago, I would have thought that the current administration would suffer at this point because no president has been re-elected with a national unemployment rate of over 7.4 percent.”
Sophomore Tyler Rouse said she learned a lot from the speech.
“The speech gave me a different outlook because I had no idea that the economy was actually getting better,” she said. “All I hear is that it’s getting worse.”
Winkler wasn’t paid to appear, but simply wanted to talk to students and aspiring journalists that are eager to be employed upon graduation, said Susan King, dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Junior Lakin Garms said the speech made her feel optimistic.
“Economics isn’t necessarily my favorite topic, but since graduation is quickly approaching, it’s comforting to know that I’ll have a steady job,” she said.
King said there could not be a better time for young people to be learning about the economy in a political context.
“What could be better for young journalists to realize that they can build new businesses and great careers while doing significant journalism?”
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