5 Conservative Economic Myths Occupy Wall St. Is Helping Bust
AlterNet / By Dave Johnson October 10, 2011 |
For decades the corporate media has force-fed “conventional wisdom” free-market economic nonsense to the American public. We have been told that it’s good to give more and more to the wealthy few, that it’s good to send jobs and money out of the country, and especially that the people who run the big corporations are better and more “efficient” at deciding what’s best for the rest of us. As those decades passed we watched as the wealthy few get wealthier and fewer, while the rest of us – the 99 percent – fall further and further behind. But we have had it explained to us that our lying eyes aren’t seeing what they are seeing, and that the obvious isn’t what it is. We have been seemingly powerless to change this.
While time passed and these economic time-bombs messed up the economy, it seemed as if this fog of propaganda had lulled people to sleep. The uncontested repetition of free-market slogans led many to a bland acceptance that there was no alternative. Many of us even incorporated the concepts into our own thinking. Others seemed to accept the cutbacks, the fees, the scams, the disappointments and the obviously false statements as the way things are.
Occupy Wall Street has changed all that. You can take that stuff and stuff it, they said. We’re tired of this. We aren’t going to listen anymore. We won’t passively accept the economic nonsense the corporate media tries to feed us and that we can see just doesn’t work. At least, it doesn’t work for 99 percent of us.
The Top Five
Here are five “conventional wisdom” doses of economic nonsense that we have been fed:
1. Business does everything better than government.
Corporate conservatives argue that businesses and their one-dollar-one-vote system of decision-making is better and more efficient than We, the People’s government and its one-person-one-vote system. They argue that constant competition, placing companies under constant fear of going under and people under constant fear of job-loss, focuses the mind like a pending execution. They say it leads them to do only what they should be doing and no more, in the best possible way, always looking for the best and most “efficient” ways, forcing innovation to occur.
But as we have seen, what actually happens in this kind of dehumanized “Force You” system (as in “F.U.”) is that businesses are forced to cut every corner, cheapen every product, cut out every service, lay people off, cut people’s wages while adding hours, gut benefits … and probably go under anyway because when every business does the same 99 percent of us can’t afford to buy or do things anymore.
The effect on people (human beings – remember them?) is worse. Stress-induced illness is rampant in our fear-based society. People do not get sufficient sleep, skip vacations, work long hours, spend less time with their families, spend very little time in nature, and the rest of the things that make us human.
This idea that people are best when operating under constant fear is similar to the conservative mantra that everyone should carry a gun because then you have “a polite society.” Perhaps constant fear and stress keeps people on their toes and makes them “behave” but in the long run it’s just no way to live.
Another “feature” of this top-down, one-dollar-one-vote, “market” system that the corporate conservatives advocate is that only those at the top levels of the corporate/financial ladder make the decisions for, and receive the benefits of, society. This is great if – and only if – you are in that 1 percent. But one-person-one-vote, democratic government decision-making means all of us have an equal say with equal access and equal opportunity, and society operates for the benefit of all of us.
2. Rich people are “job creators.”
5 Conservative Economic Myths Occupy Wall St. Is Helping Bust | | AlterNet