Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Deficit Panic Disorder | The Nation

Deficit Panic Disorder | The Nation

At last! Some common sense! Leave it to the Nation to make sense of the crisis de jour, "The Deficit." I just finished listening to the NPR call in show and a caller railed on and on about the debt we are leaving to our children and grandchildren, and that something just must be done!

The danger of a silly punditocracy is on display with all the deficit peacockery and proud strutting of the folks who promise to cut spending and lower taxes and get government off our backs. NONE OF THESE FOLKS KNOW OR CARE IF THEY KNOW what they are talking about.

The mindless recitation of Luntzian messaging is having a tragic, but predictable effect on the American psyche. Most will believe it simply because most believe. How are they convinced? A pervasive echo chamber, some very deep pockets, and a massive and massively expensive advertising campaign designed to turn spin into truth.

The best tool of the wealthy elite is to use their money to control the narrative, create the spin, and push the ideas that help them preserve themselves with ruthless malice towards the rest of us.

Where is the ruthless scepticism of the press corps? A little of it is shown in this editorial. On the NPR show, the commentators did not engage the commenter or inquire into the reason for the earnestly held position. NPR simply nodded and solemnly agreed that the deficit is indeed terrible and that anything we can do to fix it will be OK.

That is insanely stupid.

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