Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sad, True, and Maddening

Hunter produced another quasi-perfect post at the Daily Kos. (The "quasi-" refers to a couple of typos.)

The post, titled The failure of Austerity, is a must-read for everyone, but in particular for those who subscribe to economic theories that far-right conservatives promote (far-right conservatives being 95% of conservatives around) and dim-witted supporters espouse and repeat mindlessly, regardless of any contrary evidence.

It is sad that about half of the U.S. population, give and take a few percentage points, has been manipulated into believing that the government can do no good when it comes to changing the course of the economy, and it is maddening that too many in government act as if that were a true statement.

In an excellent book titled Perfectly Legal, tax policy expert David Cay Johnston writes, and I paraphrase only slightly, that the organic pursuit of self-interest is what makes democracy work, and that for too long a vast number of Americans have subscribed to and supported economic policies that go in the opposite direction of their self-interest, which is a failure of democracy of the highest level.

That the ideologues and hacks should continue to promote economic theories that have as much connection to reality as alchemy does is understandable; after that's how they make a living and prosper. But the fact that a sufficient number of people believe their fantastic claims is sad and maddening, because they make life much worse than it needs to be for those who know that the idiots are buying from a seemingly inexhaustible supply of snake oil. And that is what Hunter articulates so well in his post.

The only thing that I have yet to resolve in my mind if most of the blame lies with the ideologues and the hacks, or if it should fall squarely on the shoulders of their dim-witted supporters. And the more I think about it, the more I believe the latter is the case.

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