February 16, 2013

Robert Reich (RBReich) lists 15 economic lies Republicans (and many Democrats) believe

Robert Reich has a great list of tweets.  Given the nature of Twitter, I thought it might be useful to have them all here in one space.

  1. Biggest economic lie #15: All gov't spending the same. Truth: Public investments in infrastructure, education, & basic R&D spur ec growth.
  2. Biggest economic lie #14: We're creating nation of "takers." Truth: Reason for rise in public benefits since '08 is joblessness.
  3. Biggest economic lie #13: Raising taxes on rich slows economy. Truth: No such correlation. Ec grew faster betw '46 & '81 when taxes higher.
  4. Biggest economic lie #12: Medicare must be cut. Truth: It's more efficient than private health insurance & should be expanded.
  5. Biggest economic lie #11: Raising min wage kills jobs. Truth: It fuels demand. States with higher min wage have no higher unemployment.
  6. Biggest economic lie #10: Wages are rising. Truth: Median wage continues to drop, adjusted for inflation. Now 8% below 2000.
  7. Biggest economic lie #9: Social Sec in dire straights, must raise eligibility age & cut benefits. Truth: SS fine for 20 yrs. Raise ceiling.
  8. Biggest economic lie #8: Unemployment benefits responsible for high joblessness. Truth: 3 people looking for jobs for every job opening.
  9. Biggest economic lie #7: Super-wealthy over-taxed. Truth: Richest 400 Ams wealthier than bottom 150 milln together & pay pittance in taxes.
  10. Biggest economic lie #6: Inflation is just around the corner. Truth: Recession is just around the corner.
  11. Biggest economic lie #5: "Markets" exist without government. Truth: Government organizes, defines, and enforces the market.
  12. Biggest economic lie #4: Low-income Americans pay no taxes. Truth: They pay higher share of incomes in payroll and sales taxes than others.
  13. Biggest economic lie #3: Corporations need tax cuts. Truth: Corps sitting on almost $2 trillion, buying other corps, buying own stock.
  14. Biggest economic lie#2: Rich are the job creators. Truth: Broad middle class are job creators through their purchases.
  15. Biggest economic lie #1: We must cut deficit now. Truth: Cutting deficit now robs economy of demand it needs, causing slowdown or recession.


Smitty said...

The "truths" behind each of these myths are recognized everywhere as actual, verifiable facts.

But in politics, none of it matters. I really get frustrated in my job a lot that verifiable facts disappear to the almighty Sound Bite. All of these 15 truths are dismissed with a "nuh-uh" and every legislative session, session after session, the same old parade of tax cuts and middle class bashing march along. It's worse than groundhog day.

Smitty said...

in fact, in Michigan right now, we're in the midst of #11. Proposals are introduced to increase the minimum wage, but every Tax Policy committee, we have to suffer the same old tired death march of "it'll make us fire people" and "it'll cost jobs" and "it hurts the economy."

Wait...it hurts the economy to pay workers? Well...who in the fuck pays for the widgets we make then??

I know I'm bitching and pessimistic right now, but for Great Googly Moogly, I am sick and tired of these arguments.

When in Hell did Capitalism become "make as much money as possible" rather than remaining a solid economic theory? I mean, I guess that a strict reading of Wealth of Nations yields "make as much money as possible," but I recall only when it's unchecked. In other words, the abuses of, say, child labor during the early parts of the Industrial Revolution are a "natural" part of Capitalism...but they can and should be averted.

But anyway, that makes too much sense. If I can't beat 'em, join 'em.


steves said...

Neat list. I will confess that my own understanding of economics is limited to two quarters of college econ and I don't recall most of it.

I get the sense that most people that support a completely unregulated economy don't understand econ any better than I do or are very unrealistic. From time to time, I hear about going back to the "good old days", but that ignored the fact that even in the time of the Founding Fathers, the economy was regulated through things like tariffs.

Streak said...

There is this fundamentalism about these lies. People insist they are true, and facts really don't matter. As you note, Smitty, this has real world implications. Here in OK, the anti-tax mentality is very strong. I heard a story the other day about counties who produce a lot of limestone gravel but not oil and gas. The gravel isn't taxed, so doesn't really help those counties, while the counties with oil and gas extraction have more money for roads and schools. Just about everyone involved sees an upside for taxing those gravel extractions--including some of the gravel companies themselves. But it won't even get to the floor for a vote.