Wednesday, September 24, 2014

6 Degrees of Truth Ending 6 GOP Lies.

In a Rolling Stone article titled “Six Studies That Show Everything Republicans Believe is Wrong: It's time for the right wing to stop lying about the minimum wage, taxes, global warming and more,” we’re finally getting around to telling right wingers what we should have been saying all along-the truth. But instead, the media decided some time ago to treat the truth and BS the same, out of respect to the clueless and to appear neutral to the point of silliness.

My simple truth is: If you treat snake oil salesmen like doctors, you get a lot of snake oil doctors:
1. The Minimum Wage Doesn't Kill Jobs: In the early Nineties, David Card and Alan Krueger found "no evidence that the rise in New Jersey's minimum wage reduced employment at fast-food restaurants in the state." The most comprehensive meta-study of the minimum wage examined 64 studies and found "little or no evidence" that a higher minimum wage reduces employment.

2. The Stimulus Created Millions of Jobs: The Republican belief that markets are always good and government is always bad led them to argue that diverting resources to the public sector this way would have disastrous results. They were wrong: The stimulus worked, with the most reliable studies finding that it created millions of jobs. 

3. Taxing The Rich Doesn't Hurt Economic Growth: Republicans believe that the wealthy are the vehicles of economic growth … investment is driven by demand, not supply; if there are viable investments to be made, they will be made regardless of tax rates … Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, two of the eminent economists of inequality, find no correlation between marginal tax rates and economic growth. Inequality reduces the incomes of the middle class, and therefore demand, which in turn stunts growth. 

4. Global Warming is caused by Humans: James Powell finds that over a one year period, 2,258 articles on global warming were published by 9,136 authors. Of those, only one, from the Herald of the Russian Academy of Sciences, rejected man-made global warming. That one article was likely motivated by the Russian government's interest in exploiting arctic shale. Another, even more comprehensive study, examining 11,944 studies over a 10-year period, finds that 97 percent of scientists accepted the scientific consensus that man-made global warming is occurring.

5. The Affordable Care Act is Working: President Obama's centrist healthcare bill was informed by federalism (delegating power to the states) … Republicans, undeterred, decried it as Soviet-style communism based on "death panels" – never mind the fact that the old system, which rationed care based on income, is the one that left tens of thousands of uninsured people to die. From the beginning, Republicans have predicted disastrous consequences or Obamacare, none of which came true. It's worth noting that every time the CBO estimates how much Obamacare will cost, the number gets lower. Odd how we've never heard Republicans say that.

6. Rich people are no better than the rest of us: Politicians on the right like to pretend that having money is a sign of hard work and morality – and that not having money is a sign of laziness. This story is contradicted by human experience and many religious traditions … But it's also contradicted by the facts – more and more rich people are getting their money through inheritances, and science shows that they are no more benevolent than others.

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