Chicken or the egg?

I’m not normally a person that’s into the economy or particularly knowledgable about business and politics, but I do know a little bit about the influence the media can have on the community on a global scale. When I studied my degree in computing and multimedia at university I hated those waffley essay subjects, but some of the information on media influence was quite interesting.

Bare with me, this topic probably sounds a bit boring so far, but it’s relevant to today’s economy heading into global recession and I think the media could be partially to blame…….or have at least accelerated it and caused a greater impact.

When I was at university I remember people in my group discussing the Reconciliation and the apology between Australia and the Aboriginals. Someone brought up how during the opening ceremony at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, when Kathy Freeman (an Aboriginal runner) entered the stadium….right at the moment John Howard (our Prime Minister) frowned.

“Wait a minute…….” I said. How do we know when that footage of him was really taken? The media have put together 2 pieces of video footage and created an impression that could influence most of Australia. People developed a bad interpretation because of 2 video clips put together. Maybe he was about to sneeze? Maybe the sun was in his eyes? It doesn’t matter, but the point is the media have this power to change peoples opinions.

So now coming to the current day problems, with the economic downturn. The US banks crashed and following this was the grim message that this was going to affect everyone globally. People got scared, employers stopped employing, people put their money away, people stopped spending. With or without the crash in the US, if people did this I think it would cause the economy to go bust. Basically, if people stop spending money, then businesses stop making money, if businesses stop making money, then businesses stop employing people, if people get scared of losing their job, then they stop spending money…

I would love to know what would have happened if when the US banks crashed, instead the media reported “hey this is good for Australia and it will strength the economy”. What result would this positive influence have? I’m not knowledgable on economics so maybe the strong US influence would still have turned our economy, but I’m convinced it wouldn’t have been as bad if they didn’t introduce the fear that they have worldwide.

So which came first, the chicken or the egg?