The economy dominates the news


March 10, 1996|By Don Aucoin | Don Aucoin,BOSTON GLOBE

Granted, Pat Buchanan has the demeanor of a bulldog with a hernia, and many of his views are odious. But there's no gainsaying the fact he has shone klieg lights on a group the elite was content to leave in the shadows: the "anxious class."

You don't think so? Check your local newsstand.

In one way or another, the current issues of Business Week, Atlantic Monthly, Mother Jones and Wired magazines all grope for the hot buttons Mr. Buchanan has been gleefully pushing on the campaign trail: worker anxiety, wage stagnation, income inequality, record corporate profits and staggering CEO salaries accompanied by massive layoffs. (That's not even counting the New York Times' series "The Downsizing of America.")

The March 11 Business Week devotes a cover story, three sidebars, a column, a poll and an interview with Mr. Buchanan to the issue that screams from its cover: "Economic Anxiety." BW seems determined to find silver linings in what it demurely calls "corporate restructuring," and the articles have a defensive tone that seems most concerned about an "antibusiness backlash."

Nonetheless, BW dutifully reports the facts -- 100,000 job cuts announced by U.S. corporations in January alone, almost three times the monthly rate of job loss in 1995 -- and points out that the cutbacks are now hitting managers and professionals hardest. For instance, the cover story quotes research by Harvard Business School professor Nitin Nohria, who found that of 3 million workers laid off since 1978 at 100 of the nation's largest companies, 77 percent were white-collar workers.

Pub Date: 3/10/96

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