Good economic journalism still elusive

A headline on the Kansas City Star's blog reads: Nixon swings ax, citizens scream "OUCH!". The article's content is more neutral, discussing the financial crunch that led to the cuts. But it's that headline that lets you know what a nasty move it is by this greedy Gov. Nixon.

Well, here's a news flash: governments don't have the money to match their promises. Sometimes they have to cut back. When you or I have personal budget crunches, the solution is to spend less. It's no different at the state government level. (It's different at the federal level, alas.)

And this isn't necessary a bad thing. What government does is create deadweight loss. Less government control over money is all right by me.

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Not to pick nits here, but that headline doesn't strike me as all that inflammatory. After all, it's generally true that, at least in the short term, most citizens cry "ouch!" when there are budget cuts. At the very least, people directly effected by the cuts tend to cry ouch. Cuts might very well make everyone better off in the long run. Still, the headline is a pretty accurate description of what actually happens during budget cuts.

Also, just for the record, at most newspapers, journalists don't write their own headlines. And headlines are written to sell newspapers (or in this day and age, to attract clickthroughs). So, seeing as how you've now given them a link, and seeing as how you say that the article itself is pretty neutral, seems to me that (a) the problem's not finding good economics journalism so much as it is finding good economics headline writers and (b) there's little incentive for them to do the latter, as long as outraged bloggers keep linking to articles on the basis of the headlines.