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What If We Reported On Poverty The Way We Report On The Stock Market?


What If We Reported On Poverty The Way We Report On The Stock Market?

Sean McElwee

“The media is biased,” is a complaint that media organizations receive a lot, so they tend to be fairly wary of overtly partisan reporting. However, while media organizations are loath to seem partisan, they are often deeply unaware of other deep biases they hold.


"What If We Reported On Poverty The Way We Report On The Stock Market?"

There is that "we" again.


Who molds mass opinion?

"These biases certainly afflict newsrooms, which are whiter and more male than the general population and come from wealthier backgrounds. Most live in cities and live flight- and Uber-filled lives that simply don’t comport with the lives of average Americans."

What percentage of corporate CEOS are white males?

What percentage of bankers in high positions are white males?

What percentage of military "top brass" are males?

What percentage of university deans and/or school superintendents are white males?

What percentage of gun-toting NRA members who play so significant a role in the nation's domestic gun policies are white males (of lesser fiscal means)?

The preponderance of a particular demographic in all operational systems of power, decision-making, and control explains why life is so difficult for all other groups. It also explains why it is that the same traits (those that are habitual in Anglo-Saxon male dominant baboons) recapitulate the same outcomes... starting with the redundant wars that cannibalize assets that would otherwise make life far better for the world's people... most of which are largely not white Anglo-Saxon males of monetary means or otherwise.

Nonetheless, Steve McElwee raises a significant and morally just point.


This article almost touches on the real psychological mechanism behind all social inequality... but then veers off on a side track.

In very simple terms, social power can be seen as distributed like a tall pyramid - control at the top - the masses at the bottom. The control includes control over, business, finance, law, media, police, the military and other key resources. In general, the closer you are to the top, the more sympathetic you have to be to conservative accepted values and so the less critical you are of anything and everthing already in place. Any supposed reform must be done through the system in the eyes of such people - something that effectively bars any real reform. So people near the top effectively protect the status quo. But it is all so subliminal (people do not understand themselves, never mind society) that we fool both ourselves and others.

Meanwhile, at the bottom, you can be as radical as you like but, unless you manage to mobilise others (create a mini sub-pyramid of your own) you are powerless so your voice is unheard - no matter how sincere, honest and intelligent you are. Furthermore, as soon as anyone tries to upset anything above them in the pyramid they can be sure efforts will be made to thwart them. In principle, you cannot ascend the pyramid without endorsing the values of those who will permit your ascendence. The masses provide its solid footing and those at the top know that they can only stay there by virtue of their ability to control the support of those immediately below them such that that control stretches all the way down to the lower levels.

Okay - this is all very simplistic... but why complicate it with distracting detail? Fear is very primitive and, to some extent, makes us all want to protect our own safe hideout amongst all this. Who can say they are not somewhere in this pyramid? More importantly, the idea that a good guy (or gal) can ascend the pyramid and still support the values of those at the bottom is just a con that those at the top are happy to perpetuate in the knowledge that that helps make the whole situation look legit. It is the Tooth Fairy story for adults.

Calling time on the whole sorry psychological trickery of this pyramid is the only way forward for the human race. It is both a spiritual and evolutionary step forward. Without dismantling the pyramid, homo sapiens wil remain in denial of their real challenges and, with time runing out, we are doomed.
Material poverty is an ugly symptom, but only a symptom...


What would a better system look like? What structure or constitution?


Such questions are for the whole of humanity to address - pragmatically and practically, as opposed to theoretically. History has never conformed to any one person's ideas. Not even those of its worst tyrants. Reality in its totality excludes nobody's influence - however much some try to make it so within their delusions of legitimate grandeur and ill-gotten control over others.

It has been hammered into us for yonks - but with increasing force latterly - that a system/structure/organisation/constitution is absolutely required. The only alternative is painted frighteningly and conveniently as some chaotic and murderous state of anarchy. But that is not how other species exist. They may have the usual male-to-male aggression for females but it is actually homo sapiens in the current world order/chaos that are the butchers of their own kind.

But this is all hidden within mainstream narratives and respectability. Consequently, most minds seem utterly incapable of questioning this need for a known replacement before the existing state is even criticised. Effectively, this means people believe unquestioningly in the pyramid - however little they realise that. It does have its own inner tensions and so does evolve superficially, but it is sufficiently encompassing (being rooted in the manipulation of our shared and most primitive emotions - which few people even try to transcend) that all the right-wing/left-wing political ideology will never touch it. That stuff arguably even acts as a continual rebalancing of it.

If people do not change themselves, nothing of any substance should even be expected to change. Where is the politician that would undermine his search for power and risk insulting the public be simply voicing this axiomatic truth?


"If people do not change themselves, nothing of any substance should even be expected to change." This pyramid type social-power structure has evolved over many thousands of years -- like, do we even have examples of societies that were or are different? I imagine that there are native tribes -- maybe living in the Amazon and other remote places relatively untouched by modern civilization -- that have more egalitarian social-power structures. Can we (have we tried to) learned from them? If we don't know what to change -- what other organizational structures to aspire to -- how are we ever going to evolve a social change movement for individuals to follow? I don't even see a clue in any of the world's religions, although, being an Atheist, I can not pass myself off as an expert in that area. It all seems pretty abysmally depressing. Any rays of hope appreciated.


Maggot Thatcher even beat good ol' Uncle Sam. She had increased the British poverty level to 1 in 4 by 1993.


Even the way we frame what we are looking for reveals some of our twisted thinking - no offence meant! But I think truly egalitarian society is impossible - the world is just too unpredictable and varied. But in looking for that egalitarian thing is it not more a case that we are looking to escape the rabid and sick exploitation of one another that has become the norm?

Have we tried to learn from others that have not embraced our sickness. Generally speaking, it seems not, but that does not stop the individual from thinking as he likes. The goal of changing society (as in, one grand change to this, that or whatever new power structure, economic setup or such) is what the politicians have been selling since politics was born. But it is a lie. Reality is way too big to come under human control - never mind the fact that the humans have never agreed amongst themselves what they want. So, in terms of moving beyond our catastrophic current mess, politics is just institutionalised conflict. It is more problem than it could ever be solution.

Do we need social change movements? Most people say so, but every last one exists in opposition to at least one other. And so the social tension continues... boiling over into war from time to time. What does it matter what anyone says is right or wrong if the net result of all our high ideals is that we are all at each others throats?

If it sounds depressing, it is maybe only because the world currently seems almost exclusively populated by minds who either see the whole situation as hopeless and/or helpless - and other minds that are trying to figure out some better system that in reality will never come into force in any case. Any system is abstract. It's just the mind trying to explain what it sees within the world, or formulate some plan for the future. But the order in reality is simply too complex for the human mind. We'd be smarter if we realised that we are simply not smart enough to understand that complexity. From that position we can respect that it sustains us via nature and realise that screwing about with it when we do not fully understand the consequences of our actions is really dumb. The results of our stupidity are all around us.

As regards the human side of things (which of course does not exist in isolation), the idiots have taken charge and use their cunning to exploit the others. For what? Their own vanity or childlike self-satisfaction that they know how to bully others using fear? People are so easily cowed into accepting the status quo. Everyone knows in their hearts the current state of affairs is sick, but how much (little) serious opposition is voiced? A shower of crooks stand for election and almost no one asks why nothing better is on offer? It seems like we are all conservatives by instinct.

Can anything be done? Who knows? But we are all involved. Every last one. The idea that the politician is in charge and so we can blame him when it all goes wrong is not only a cop-out - it is also false. Everything everyone of us does, says and thinks recreates reality in the manner of how we act. We are responsible in the sense that we are actors in the play - the story is written by our actions. No one can do any more than realise that, and accept their responsibility, and try to free themselves from all the mental shackles that have been put on them since...probably before their first day at school.

Systems are for sheeple. Grasp your freedom instead of looking for the next ism, system, self-help book or whatever. No one can give that freedom to you other than yourself - even if there is no shortage of con men pretending to be your friends. Sorting the world is nobody's problem - not least of all because nobody could ever do it. Those who claim to have answers are idiots at best. We can each do no more than sort ourselves... and who knows... we might just free a few others along the way. That is a movement which is not a movement in the power-seeking sense. The only alternative is to make ourselves subservient to the next power-seeking megalomaniac or con man, and so perpetuate the current movement towards a doom of our own making.


"Even the way we frame what we are looking for reveals some of our twisted thinking..."

But who sets the frame? AS USUAL the majority of persons posting are males and they refuse to look HONESTLY at the lack of gender parity in ALL aspects of our lives... not to mention the near total patriarchal (and that means male) control of all the institutions--including that pyramid you mention--that have evolved culture and circumstances to where they currently are.

The fact that not one person addressed or responded to my initial post PROVING that it's WHITE MALES who dominate ALL decision-making bodies shows how much you all wish to HIDE this truth and hide from it.

That's why the "we" frame is a complete sham.

In societies that lack egalitarian principles and practices, the determinants of what culture (and economics) rewards are those who wish to sustain a paradigm that awards privileges to some at the expense of others.

MANY are comfortable equating capitalism with this flaw but that's an incomplete and sociologically marred analysis.

So many here think revolution can happen without equality first serving as the foundation stone upon which any new "order" or paradigm is built. They want to ignore this...

It's both sad and sickening. And 100% predictable.

And to the new poster who borrowed my (prior) mention that patterns have long been established, and that other models--notably those of Indigenous cultures--do exist, you should educate yourself about the earlier Goddess-worshipping matriarchal/partnership based societies. Start with Riane Eisler and Merlin Stone.

Even male dominance in academia makes this knowledge remote... kind of like the way today's political candidates who don't serve the status quo get no air time; or journalists who expose what Official Powers don't want known typically face silence, exile, threats, and lawsuits.

And the generic crap about WE are all responsible without specifying the relative amounts of power, influence, agency, intelligence, and resources at each individual's disposal is a CROCK OF SHIT. And it's spread like manure into this site's message threads DAILY.

Equally dishonest is taking the media's deliberate focus OFF groups that oppose the status quo and presenting in its place the idea that there IS no opposition is another way of reinforcing the current system. THAT is what your entire post (along with your side kick--sixties man) is doing.


I can only speak for myself and say there is no argument that white males dominate 'institutionally' everywhere - in Western society at least. I don't see how anyone of sound mind could argue otherwise, but I am not so sure that is the case in family life. Guys like to think they are in charge and some women choose to let them indulge their delusions, but the women are often just playing the guy and the guy is too dumb to see it. Anyway, that's a bit off topic.

I think the problem a lot of posters have with your posts is that you come across - rightly or wrongly - as if you think being a white male is a problem in itself. (What is your position on that?) White Europeans and their descendants have obviously been the most agressive bunch historically and, more importantly in my mind, males are, sexually at least, of a more aggressive constitution. So if we are going to have a bunch of war-mongering monkeys at the helm... well expect them to be mostly white males - as they are. But they do not define what it is to be male and white other than Margaret Thatcher defined what it is to be female and white.

Is the state of mind behind all this nature or nurture or both? Who knows and who cares? Both can be used as excuses for denying social responsibility. I agree that many white males one way or another come to see themselves - often subliminally - as entitled to certain things that are denied others. You are right in that it is a disgusting and socially destructive frame of mind. And I agree that white males in general maybe need to look more thoroughly at who they really are if they do not want to be tainted with the sort of spiritual cancer you mention.

But as regards the use of the word WE, it is not always innappropriate. As a species, WE are in shit. Okay - you can say it is all white males to blame if you like. Great! What does that achieve? WE are still in the shit. Unless WE can learn to work together better - despite our sexual and racial differences - although maybe discussing them to rise above them - it is a case of divided WE fall. What use will it be in that scenario to keep saying it was all those white males that were to blame? You owe it to all - as we all do - to work with others despite our differences... which personally I do not think are so great as we are coerced into thinking by most narratives ...


Thank you for reporting the fact that the top 10% own 90% of stocks. I so often here the number of 50% owning stocks. And the 10% owned by average people are more likely in 401k's which have heavy restrictions. I don't buy into some of the reasoning why the media reports the way it dose. It is so Orwellian insane its hard to understand the dynamics of why the media keeps people in the dark.Just look at the coverage of TPP. I will never forget watching CNBC the business channel after the night of riots and burning in Ferguson-yes there was a news report-but zero comment-nada-nothing???? The same for Baltimore-and its interesting how MSNBC is the "political" channel and CNBC is the business channel-as if these subjects don't intersect. And if Fox "news" isn't scary enough check out their" business" channel.And I wonder if anyone at MSNBC ever watch's CNBC---Its so funny Chris Mathews reported the stock market went up 300 points today the economy is great. He failed to mention it had dropped over 2000 points the past month. I will give CNBC credit because their is comment on the Fed and manipulation of the markets,and commentators talk openly about how greed is great-how do you improve your stock-cut thousands of jobs-do stock buy backs-don't invest in the real economy.-so one can get an understanding of our dis-functional economy. But real daily reporting on how people struggle to get by-no that might effect real change!