The Media Tries To Exploit Economic Ignorance When It Derogates American Prosperity.
A few days ago, I went to the grocery store with the express purpose of buying some junk food. We don’t usually keep junk food in the house (my wife is a bit of a health nut), but the kids have been having friends over a lot this summer, and I think I got caught up in a wave of nostalgia—remembering what it was like to hang with friends, and how I always loved the houses that had tasty snacks that we got to eat our fill of.
Of course, those were the days before parents knew that sugar is literally like crack to a kid’s developing body and brain. Ah, the eighties and early nineties—when kids, including yours truly, subsisted on sugary, over-processed foods and neon-colored drinks. I think we turned out okay for the most part, but we’ve definitely been more careful in choosing what our kids consume than our parents were with us.
Every now and then, though, the dad in me just wants to cram the freezer full of unnatural colored and flavored goodies and sit back as my kids and their friends run through the sprinkler—buzzing on high fructose corn syrup, and sporting Kool-Aid-colored smiles.
As I stood in the freezer section of our local grocery store, I was floored at the variety of products. Dozens of brands and literally hundreds of varieties all vied for my attention. They competed with bright packaging, creative logos, and low prices. Some promised to be healthier than their competitors, and others played heavily on nostalgia—I see you, red-white-and-blue bomb pop.
The fruity popsicles and abundant ice cream options were surrounded by ice cream sandwiches, Klondike and Dove bars, and much more. I spent a while exploring all my choices, and finally settled on a pretty mixed bag of nostalgic, cheap, and chocolaty options.
The kids and their friends were thrilled, and I have enjoyed all the sprinkler mayhem and sugar-highs I anticipated.
This morning, I was reading an article on FEE and it reminded me of my popsicle adventure. It took to task a totally biased and purposely misinformed video the New York Times put out last year about this time.
The short clip, titled “Please Stop Telling Me America is Great,” aimed to convince its audience that America is terrible because it has fallen well behind Europe in many ways, and that it’s actually more akin “to a developing country than we’d like to admit.” They go on to say that, “America is the richest country… but we’re also the poorest, with a whopping 18% poverty rate—closer to Mexico than Western Europe.”
The whole video pretty much follows that narrative, and paints the U.S. to be a wrecked country—cold and indifferent to the suffering of its poorest citizens, and uninterested in rising above how terrible it has become. The only way to fix it, they imply, is with more government, more social programs, and more “free money.”
Thankfully, the folks at Just Facts saw red flags in the way the Times interpreted the data used to make their claims and put in the work to get to the truth of the matter. They looked at the economic data catalogued by several organizations and found that not only was the Times wrong, but they were reporting the actual exact opposite of what the data really showed.
The reality is that the poorest in the United States are actually more prosperous than most of Europe—not most of Europe’s poor, but most of Europe’s everyone. Here’s another way to look at it: if the poorest people in America were a country of their own, that country would be richer than most any European nation. The article notes that,
The high consumption of America’s “poor” doesn’t mean they live better than average people in the nations they outpace, like Spain, Denmark, Japan, Greece, and New Zealand. This is because people’s quality of life also depends on their communities and personal choices, like the local politicians they elect, the violent crimes they commit, and the spending decisions they make.
So while quality of life can’t be measured by income, or purchasing power—see: money can’t buy happiness—it certainly cannot be said that the United States is akin to a developing nation, or that our poor are worse off than the poorest people in Mexico like the Times claimed.
But why would they do that?
Why would any country’s media outlet put in so much effort to make their nation look less prosperous and less “great” than it actually was? I mean really—have they never been to the grocery store for popsicles??
The answers to this question are so numerous that we could probably fill a whole book with them. We could talk about how the left hates self-reliance and entrepreneurship, how they hate the idea of poor people lifting themselves out of poverty and creating wealth, how they want a population totally dependent on politicians and the wealthy elite for every aspect of their lives from buying groceries to educating their children to paying their mortgages.
I think any and all of these examples feed the agenda of the Times and others of their ilk. I also think there’s a lot of truth to an agenda for a “new world order,” and a “reset” of capitalism and the “western” way of life. Our country, with all of its many flaws, stands in the way of a leftist, globalist agenda. The programs they have been trying to push by hook or crook for the last decade or more are the very reason that European nations rank below America’s poor, and that fact cannot be denied. The data has proven it time and again, and yet world powers continue to ignore it in their push for The Great Reset.
I believe that the powers that be are dependent on American’s ignorance of their own history. I think that they know that if they can keep us distracted by party politics and feed us on a steady diet of misinformation and economic illiteracy, then they can convince the rising generations that America is terrible, and in need of a total makeover.
The makeover, of course, will be a Marxist one.
Murray Rothbard, on whose, Anatomy of the State we based The Tuttle Twins and the Fate of the Future, is often quoted for saying,
It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.
I used to agree with Murray, but I think I might be changing my mind. Maybe it isn’t okay to be ignorant of economics after all. Maybe it isn’t okay to consider it a “dismal science” and leave it to those who would apply themselves to its study. We live in a world where we have the information of all the best minds the world has ever known at our fingertips and in our pockets every day. If we are ignorant of the way the world works, if we are easily led about by a deceitful media, and tricked into calling good bad, and bad good, then who—really—do we have to blame but ourselves?
How many people take the garbage the Times puts out at face value, and never look at the data for themselves? I’d venture to say most. Even those who don’t agree with it don’t do the research to be able to discuss with others why it’s wrong. They might say, “Oh the Times is garbage! It’s just a leftist rag,” but how does that help teach people that there is an actual anti-freedom and anti-prosperity agenda, that can be disproven with unbiased data, being pushed by that “rag?”
We have to do better. We have to stop allowing ourselves and our kids and communities to be dumbed down by the media, the government education system, and those with a special interest in fundamentally remaking the world into some dystopian Marxist “utopia.”
It’s no longer enough to not be ignorant of economics and the way the world around us works; we must be actively anti-ignorant.