Words: selling socialism and the economy

The Washington Times carries two distinguished professors this morning. Dr. Williams describes how shallow thinking is deceived by pleasant words and Dr. Sowell on how evil words mislead and deceive. Both see how gullibility is in evidence as words are not examined for integrity.

Theft hidden by ‘virtue’ by Walter E. Williams:

Evil acts can be given an aura of moral legitimacy by noble-sounding socialistic expressions such as spreading the wealth, income redistribution or caring for the less fortunate. … The bottom line is that we’ve become a nation of thieves, a value rejected by our Founders.

‘Jolt’ the economy? by Thomas Sowell:

Barack Obama says that we have to “jolt” the economy. That certainly makes sense, if you take the media’s account of the economy seriously — but should the media be taken seriously?

Amid all the political and media hysteria, national output has declined by less than one-half of 1 percent. It may not have declined even that much — or at all — when the statistics are revised later, as they very often are. We are not talking about the Great Depression, when output dropped by one-third and unemployment soared to 25 percent.

The stock market took a dump but interest rates, unemployment, and mortgage rates are all still healthy. Only those who are buying and selling major assets – the financiers – are really suffering (so far). Yet we hear over and over again about soup lines and poverty and that scares people. One the one hand they start to hoard which reduces consumption which can lead to economic depression and all those things feared. On the other it can lead to gullibility about ‘spreading the wealth’ and governmental intervention in business and markets.

There has been a lot of cynicism about government bail-outs. So far such efforts have been mostly cornered into money supply which is a proper governmental role. But it is easy to cross the line as the plea to bail out the big 3 illustrates. As Sowell worries, even the current efforts may be a bit too much. Maybe the efforts to use taxpayer money try to save pensions, jobs, and eliminate inequality will continue to receive support.

It is something to think about.

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