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The Four Biggest Right-Wing Lies About Inequality

Stashed in: Wealth!, Poverty

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Even though French economist Thomas Piketty has made an air-tight case that we're heading toward levels of inequality not seen since the days of the 19th-century robber barons, right-wing conservatives haven't stopped lying about what's happening and what to do about it.

Cognitive Bias, anyone?  ... just laughable

It does appear to be an oversimplification.

That video shows a nice kind of poor.  Pretty, lush, plentiful environment, not an impoverished, war torn country with a tyrant for a leader.

It's not just an oversimplification, it's a set of strawman by someone who's never created a job in his life.

1. "the rich and CEOs" are not the people conservatives are referring to as job creators. Those people have White House access and can (and do) write tax exemptions for themselves into law regardless of which party is in control.  "Job Creators" are the small business owners and independent workers who get hit the hardest by the tax man.  Typical fraudulent false equivalence we've long come to expect from Robert Reich.

2. In a global economy, even if it were desirable, it's just not possible to effectively control wage structures, maximally or minimally. Nostalgia for an era when the US was literally, not figuratively, the only economy left standing is just willful blindness: again, another common Reichism.

3. Education is the most fully socialized sector of American society. There is no verifiable measure of performance, cost effectiveness, or accountability. Unions bosses have more power than parents, teachers or school boards. Bureaucrats eat more resources than classrooms. Families can't choose effective teachers and teachers can choose suitable students.  These are your people, Robert Reich.... own it!

4. Same strawman as #1... Of course a hike in the minimum wage won't affect Walmart that much, but it _WILL_ affect Bob's Block and Tackle down the street.. you know.. those "local" businesses liberal hipsters like to patronizingly patronize?  

What's interesting here, though, is the bigger lie, happily perpetrated by Democrats and Republicans alike:  keeping the minimum wage well below poverty level results in an indirect subsidy to the very "rich and CEOs" he claims to oppose.  People on food stamps spend it at fast food joints and Walmart.  Part time workers paid a minimalist wage yet still qualify for assistance means _my_ tax dollars are subsidizing the economic performance of these companies.  If Robert Reich were intellectually honest, he'd be promoting _that_ argument and actually changing conservative minds.. but no.. he's a politician and it doesn't matter.. he wants the issue, not the change.

Oh.. and re: Piketty... apologetics is not the same thing as argument.   Yep, we have more inequality. He proved that, but not the causality re: social disruption, and that was his premise. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

The whole system does seem flawed: our tax dollars are used both for raising minimum wage AND for subsidizing Wal-mart. Which means, as you said, the small business owners get hit on both sides.

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