Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Not that the corporate media will notice . . .

or in any way change its conventional presentation of the "Tea Party" as a) a party of some kind and b) a grassroots movement of down home regular murkins who are fed up with big gummint because they believe in freedom, but it is of course a phony astroturf movement funded by the Koch brothers, which grew out of the phony smokers' rights movement with its associated science denialism funded by the tobacco industry.

As I have said here many times, in the United States we do not have public political discourse organized around competing value systems, or competing analyses of facts in evidence. We have competing sets facts, classifiable by people capable of evaluating evidence as true and false.


True: The federal budget deficit is not the cause of our recent economic collapse and current sluggish recovery. Federal borrowing is not "crowding out" private investment. We have a shortage of demand, the cure for which is more, not less, government spending.

True: Rich people do not "create jobs," and they do not create more jobs if they are taxed less. Jobs are created when it is worthwhile to produce goods and services because there are people who want to spend the money to buy them. Right now, giving more people to rich people destroys jobs, because they are not inclined to spend most of their money.

True: In the long run, the projected large federal deficits are not caused by big government or any form of discretionary spending. (In my opinion, most military spending is wasteful but for the sake of argument I'll stipulate that to be debatable.) In any event, projected growth in deficits is not based on growth in military or domestic discretionary spending. Nor are they caused by Social Security. They are largely a product of projected increases in spending on health care, and contingent on our having historically low rates of taxation by modern standards. But . . .

The reason we spend so much on health care is not because people have insurance, or we don't have a "free market." It's because we have too much of a free market. Countries with socialized health insurance spend half as much, and get more. Ideology can't trump that fact.

True: Human activity, principally burning fossil fuel but also cutting down trees, is causing the climate to change, increasing the frequency and severity of storms and droughts, making the seas rise, and otherwise wreaking havoc.

True: Sugary soft drinks and other heavily marketed elements of the U.S. diet cause people to have diabetes, and other diseases.

And so on. The only reason we pretend to have a "debate" over these issues is because rich psychopaths pay to create phony controversies. A truly independent, professional and competent journalistic establishment would tell that story, and only that story, to the American public.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Your Truisms ring true with me.

BTW, did you know that the Koch daddy, Fred Koch, was one of the founders of the John Birch Society? Its all tied together.