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What Ultraconservatives Think They Know For Sure Just Ain't So

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Mary Bell Lockhart     Permalink
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I hope for the new year that "conservatives" will update their databanks regarding how our economy, society and government actually work.  As Mark Twain said, "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." When public policy is based on misinformation it's usually ineffective or destructive. And, when ineffective or destructive public policy harms people, animals or the planet, in my book that IS "evil." People of all religious leanings (or none at all) agree we aren't supposed to go around hurting others.

We have recently become fully aware that, for decades, a disinformation campaign, funded by self-interested billionaires, has been spinning away in support of really libertarian, not traditional conservative, public policy. There never has been a successful society organized around libertarian principles, so, not surprisingly, these public policies have destructive outcomes. They place Wall Street, billionaires and corporations in control of the people and their government. Additionally, it makes it difficult to argue amicably over what our government should do if we can't agree on the facts. For example, it makes it impossible to move forward as a nation when libertarian Republicans control a U.S. House of Representatives with the worst performance in the history of the Republic.

They formed think tanks and funded segments of educational institutions to give the patina of truth to propaganda. They've bought up TV networks and stations, newspapers large and small, and radio networks, then hired pundits to repeat the misinformation again and again or to omit myth-busting facts.   They've even established organizations that write their favored laws and place them in the fists of their funded and promoted elected officials for adoption. They fund campaigns of hatred and lies to attack those who speak truth or oppose their agenda. The propaganda has infected primarily the Republican Party, but Democrats are not immune, as today those who call themselves "conservative" in both parties really speak fluent libertarian. If you think I exaggerate please read up on the history of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the John Birch Society, the Koch brothers, the State Policy Network, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Rupert Murdoch and Fox News.

Well, what are some of the demonstrably wrong ideas? I simply list some here, because space doesn't allow discussion. Some of the ideas about our economy that have been thoroughly debunked and exposed as wrong are as follows:

Government does not create jobs.

Government spending on social programs is redistribution of wealth, but government tax policies that favor the wealthy do not constitute redistribution.

Government tax policies are not the source of our income inequality.

Income or wealth inequality on the scale we have today isn't a serious threat to our economy, society and democracy.

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The "free" market provides better solutions to social problems than do government social programs.

Religious and private charities can meet the needs of our unemployed, disabled, children, elderly and poor.

Government social programs don't work; they create more problems than they solve; they create greater dependency and reward laziness.

As proof of the preceding, the New Deal and regulatory policies of FDR did not lead to recovery from the Great Depression, and LBJ's policies (Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare) of the 60s did not reduce poverty or help the middle class.

Another proof: The stimulative efforts of President Obama along with our social safety net (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, food stamps) didn't pull us out of the latest depression.

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People using food stamps (beneficiaries of the SNAP program) are able-bodied but too lazy to work.

Most of the money in government social programs goes to bureaucrats, not to people in need.

Unemployment insurance makes the unemployed avoid seeking work or education to get new employment; it kills jobs, hurts the economy.

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I'm a retired public health worker focused these days on supporting a variety of progressive issues, such as criminal justice reform, energy efficiency, environmental protection, universal health care, civil rights, and worldwide peace and (more...)
 

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