When I was young, I was a bit of a amateur Sovietologist. This was in the day that we were tirelessly told but the apologists of the Soviet Union that all our concerns about the Soviet Union were wrong. Were told the Soviet Union was morally superior to the Imperialist US in every way and that any conflict between Soviet interests were the fault of the US. In the meantime, if you looked closely, the Soviet Union was a massive clusterf**k waiting to implode. The biggest concern that many of us had was that the gullible here in the US and Europe would convince the USSR that it could take the rest of the world down with it when the end came.
Recently I ran into this story which said that Facebook should pull a video because somebody had altered a video to make Nancy Pelosi sound drunk and thus the video was fake news. The media was rather upset that Facebook would not pull the video forthwith. I first saw the story in the guardian here:
My mother watches MSNBC heavily and believes that the President is colluding with the Russians because supposedly Donald Trumps wants a building in Moscow. But what has gotten in the noise is just how much collusion was ongoing between Clinton associates and the very Russians that the various announcers on MSNBC warn us are so dangerous.
A lot, apparently. Enough that Ms. Maddow and the MSNBC writers who night after night spun a tale that was supposed to end the Trump Presidency kept after it with new salacious accusations, hints and insinuations nigh after night all the while keeping just one side of making any comment that actually required evidence. This is typical:
We are supposed to be amazed that Donald Trump puffs himself up. I have to ask myself, lady, where have you been for the last forty years or so? This would hardly be news to anybody living in the New York area. But there it is, now Trump being Trump is lying and potential criminality.
For the last few weeks a ‘caravan’ of people has been marching up to the US from the country of Honduras. The Mainstream media would have us believe that the people in the caravan are refugees from a war torn country fleeing oppression and poverty. The problem with that is that the facts don’t add up.
For the last forty years or so, the trend in American politics, culture and the intellectual elites of the country has been to ignore the deindustrialization of the country. In fact the elites have been enablers of the process through polices and behaviors that strangled the industrial companies and their business.
It should be fairly obvious that most of the relationships like taxation and relief distribution are not linear. You don’t get less poverty for the more money you spend and after a point tax revenue declines as the rate down. This should be evident in the fact that in spite of massive manipulations of both relief and welfare neither has been able to create massive increases of revenue or free us from poverty. Yet there is the constant drumbeat to increase taxes and welfare in spite of the obvious destruction that taxes and welfare have created.
They say that insanity is repeating the same things over and over again and expecting a different result. Yet here we are.
As far as a I am concerned, victory in the war on poverty would be nobody needing the relief programs and the programs being shut down. Instead the programs expand and consume ever larger sums of money and effort, with little change in the results.
It’s also bad for the economy since prosperity is in part a function of the quantity of labor that is productively employed. As such, government programs that lure people into dependency obviously reduce national economic output.
We can get a sense of how the nation is being hurt by reviewing some of the scholarly literature.
Writing for the Cato Journal, Lowell Gallaway and Daniel Garrett explore the relationship between redistribution spending and poverty reduction.
They start by pointing out that more welfare spending used to be associated with reductions in poverty. But when President Johnson launched his so-called War on Poverty and dramatically increased the level of redistribution, the link between welfare spending and poverty reduction substantially weakened.
…the real per capita cost in the United States of federal public aid rose…
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