01 April 2011

Demythologizing some Rightist myths so prevalent today

I got an inquiry from a friend what I thought of some right wing propaganda encouraging people to leave America and "offshore" their assets...did I think it was unpatriotic? I told him, sure do, and added:

We in this country are the victims of right wing economic mythology:
  • Lower taxes increase productivity... provably false.  Higher taxes on corporations and the very rich increase public investment, regulate and diminish the transfer of wealth from poor to rich and the transfer of private debt to public debt, all of which would help to remedy the economic devastation we are currently experiencing.
  • Public expenditures on necessities such as public housing, retirement security, extended unemployment benefits, and health care (what right wingers like to call 'entitlements') kill jobs and reduce entrepreneurship and overall wealth. The exact opposite is provably true. Public expenditures on necessities increase demand, and result in the highest return on the dollar... about $1.61:1 in improved economic activity and hiring of any public spending. David Cay Johnston, the foremost expert on taxation and public expenditure in the country, calculated that if we adopted single payer health care and regulated medical pricing like they have in most other civilized countries, that alone would result in the complete erasure of the national debt in just over 8 years.
  • Markets regulate themselves. ... provably false; unregulated gambling, overleveraging, financial guarantees without either reserves or insurable interest; all formerly illegal, were rampant starting under Reagan and accelerating to a crescendo of fraud and excessive speculation under Bush II, causing the financial meltdown.
  • Globalization increases economic activity and is therefore good for the economy. Even Harvard economists who are the greatest boosters of globalization admit that when all factors are included in the modeling, over 20 years, globalization, which undeniably makes American workers compete in a race to the bottom for low wage jobs and is resulting in the gradual destruction of the middle class in this country, would result in a 1/10 of 1% (1/1000) increase in the overall size of the economy. This is just nuts. We're paying in huge social costs for minimal growth, all of which contributes to the massive transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich which has been the dominant trend for the past 35 years.
So, instead of buying into this kind of claptrap about how people should leave the U.S. (and go live where they can't receive Medicare? Where the dollar has less purchasing power when traded against the Euro or other currencies than it does here?), we should unite and throw off the economic and political regime of the Rightists in this country, face facts, accept that we have a lot of work and some sacrifice to go through to restore reasonable economic stability and fairness, and commit ourselves to rebuilding our own country, not think in terms of abandoning her.

Who is it who parks their money offshore and owns lovely estates all over the world? The uberrich, that's who, and my friend, these people are the enemy.

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