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

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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.

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.

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 respect. (more...)
 

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For lazy readers who aren't willing to take your w... by Jerry Wesner on Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013 at 1:18:50 PM
I was hoping that I'd see the statements that we a... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013 at 1:42:44 PM
___Complete desinformation and lies____Dreams of L... by jean labrek on Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013 at 2:09:47 PM
Well, what are some of the demonstrably wrong idea... by Joe Reeser on Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013 at 2:15:15 PM
Thanks for the good suggestions.  Unfortunate... by Mary Bell Lockhart on Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013 at 3:54:52 PM
Yet, if I debunked them here you'd be attacking me... by Mary Bell Lockhart on Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013 at 7:08:38 PM
I will put one:"Our government does not have reven... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 12:06:46 AM
Yes we do have a revenue problem when our revenue ... by Bill Johnson on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 12:11:49 PM
What's the problem? Our expenses are (by the same... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 9:48:56 PM
Mary said that:"Immigration and immigration refor... by KurtB on Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013 at 7:05:01 PM
No it's not nonsense.  True that the 1%ers wa... by Mary Bell Lockhart on Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013 at 7:28:40 PM
What does that anecdote prove?  Nothing regar... by Mary Bell Lockhart on Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013 at 9:47:19 PM
But that's not what Senate Bill 744 does: the "br... by KurtB on Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013 at 10:54:46 PM
You are going on the assumption that immigration i... by Mary Bell Lockhart on Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013 at 11:47:51 PM
Well then, let's open the borders and let em all i... by Jim Arnold on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 11:56:21 AM
What has actually happened is America has attracte... by Bill Johnson on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 12:13:48 PM
The facts are simply not with you.  Do you re... by Mary Bell Lockhart on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 2:46:52 PM
Exactly my point on the unemployed.  They nee... by Mary Bell Lockhart on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 2:15:25 PM
I agree with almost all the points made in this ar... by Stephen Unger on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 1:33:41 PM
I appreciate your courtesy.  But I have looke... by Mary Bell Lockhart on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 2:36:53 PM
Mary, you have not backed up your claims that mor... by KurtB on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 3:53:46 PM
I think you have proven my point.  Keeping pe... by Mary Bell Lockhart on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 10:14:14 PM
"We would have to help those here already but reco... by Jim Arnold on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 4:39:02 PM
Our ancestors WERE immigrants.  It isn't suff... by Mary Bell Lockhart on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 9:35:02 PM
The argument that because (most of) our ancestors... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Jan 2, 2014 at 5:35:02 AM
No, the price of labor is NOT directly inversely r... by Mary Bell Lockhart on Thursday, Jan 2, 2014 at 11:07:55 AM
Mary, the relationship between the price and supp... by Jim Arnold on Friday, Jan 3, 2014 at 11:50:29 AM
No, the labor market is not a free market and wage... by Mary Bell Lockhart on Friday, Jan 3, 2014 at 12:53:47 PM
Okay then. ... by Jim Arnold on Friday, Jan 3, 2014 at 3:26:07 PM
Thanks for the article. I think you misunderstand ... by Libertarian International on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 2:33:16 PM
There is a difference between what libertarians sa... by Mary Bell Lockhart on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 9:23:48 PM
You say you do not advocate amnesty (which you cha... by Stephen Unger on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 5:19:51 PM
The word "amnesty" applies to giving someone a fre... by Mary Bell Lockhart on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 9:53:13 PM
People are "undocumented' because they're here il... by KurtB on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 at 11:46:11 PM