People who refuse to see what is happening are compared to the ostrich, an animal that—according to the myth—buries its head in the sand. “Ostrich economics” is a policy promoted by someone (such as in a presidential administration) who ignores reality.
“Ostrich economics” has been infrequently cited in print since at least 1941. In May 2012, CNBC’s Rick Santelli told his viewers that the latest employment report was dismal and that the administration was using “ostrich economics.”
“Peter Pan economics” is a similar term, describing economics based on pixie dust and wishful thinking.
The Ostrich is one or two species of large flightless birds native to Africa, the only living member(s) of the genus Struthio. Some analyses indicate that the Somali Ostrich may be better considered a full species apart from the Common Ostrich, but most taxonomists consider it to be a subspecies.
Social and seasonal behaviour
When threatened, Ostriches run away, but they can cause serious injury and death with kicks from their powerful legs. Their legs can only kick forward. Contrary to popular belief, Ostriches do not bury their heads in sand. This myth likely began with Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79), who wrote that Ostriches “imagine, when they have thrust their head and neck into a bush, that the whole of their body is concealed.”
Google News Archive
20 January 1941, Ellensburg (WA) Daily Record, pg. 1, col. 5:
IN PRESENT WAR
Farm Bureau Speaker
Warns Future To Bring
The American farmer does not hold as important a place in this war as he did in the last and the future probably will bring even greater control of his production and his operations, Dr. R. B. Heflebower, Washington State college economist, asserted hereSturday in an address at the annual banquet of the Kittitas County Farm Bureau.
Dr. Heflebower’s speech, in which he criticized “ostrich economics” and warned that neither war nor possible inflation could be expected to bring much improvement in most agricultural prices, featured a program which included talks by the three ranking officials of the Washington State Farm Bureau and the formal installation of the officers of the county organizations.
1 June 1950, Baytown (TX) Sun, “U.S. Price Fixing Discussed” by Roger babson, pg. 10, col. 1:
Ostrich economics (the head in the sand variety) is due for a terribly rude awakening some day.
24 September 1975, New York (NY) Times, “Buckley Opposes U.S. Intervention” by Martin Tolchin, pg. 1:
“It’s ostrich economics,” said Representative Bella S. Abzug, Manhattan Democrat who is seeking his Senate seat.
Google News Archive
22 September 1982, Windsor (Ontario) Star, “Angry labor reaction,” pg. A6, col. 1:
Cliff Pilkey, president of the 800,000 Ontario Federation of Labor, also said there could be strikes against the restraints.
“Wide-ranging public sector controls are ostrich economics—a political cop-out by a government that would rather stick its head in the sand than confront Ontario’s worst economic crisis in half a century,” Pilkey said.
Google News Archive
29 January 1988, Lodi (CA) News-Sentinel, “Candidates agree to restore U.S. competition” (UPI), pg. 7, col. 1:
“Concern with the deficit is overdue after eight years of ostrich economics,” said Harvard economist Lawrence Summers, who appeared on a panel at a news briefing.
Rivers Under Siege:
The troubled saga of West Tennessee’s wetlands
By Jim W. Johnson
Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press
It was “ostrich economics” — sticking one’s head in the sand to avoid a true, long-range analysis.
Wall Street Pit
Congress and Ostrich Economics
By Michael Mandel Nov 18, 2011, 8:10 AM
Faced with the need to make policy in a rapidly changing economy, Congress is going absolutely the wrong way by planning to cut funding for the Census Bureau to $888 million next year, down from $1.15 billion.
Santelli On Propaganda And Ostrich Economics
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/04/2012 12:43 -0400
Everyone’s favorite Chicago-ite, Rick Santelli, once again presents himself as the truth-teller-in-chief on the propaganda channel. This morning’s dismal jobs data but utopian reporting of the improvement in the headline unemployment rate appears to have hit a nerve. Santelli takes on just how bad the employment picture really is, how mainstream media practices ‘Ostrich Economics’, and finally how nothing is deemed important to most politicians except who is to blame. One of Rick’s best as perhaps CNBC has been looking at its ratings and realizes investors want the truth not the spin.
May 04, 2012
Santelli: ‘Ostrich Economics’
Rick Santelli blasted the liberal media’s reporting on today’s dismal unemployment numbers. The CNBC star ridiculed the “Ostrich Economics” being pushed by the Obama-media.
Rick Santelli: There are some highlights I’d really like to hit. The first one is that about 41.3% of unemployed have been unemployed for 39.1 weeks. That is huge and pretty much says it all. This is the weakest recovery since the Great Depression. A whole 4/5ths of the drop of the unemployment rate is due to a drop in the labor force participation. It is the lowest since 1981.
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Friday, May 04, 2012 • Permalink