When Bush Junior took office on January 20, 2001, the national unemployment rate was 4.7%. When he left office on January 20, 2009 and President Obama took office the national unemployment rate was 9.3% ( http://www.bls.gov/cps/prev_yrs.htm ). The current unemployment rate as of June 2001 is 9.2% ( http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm ). Doing the math, the increase during the Bush administration was (9.3 / 4.7) * 100 = 198% or a 98% increase in unemployment. For the Obama administration the math is (9.2 / 9.3) * 100 = 98% or a 2% decrease in unemployment. The latest Karl Rove, Crossroads, national ad states that the national unemployment rate increased 25% during the Obama administration. Since unemployment data by definition is published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, no amount of “private facts” or bold face lies can explain away the real facts. The Republican lie machine has no problem spending millions of dollars spewing forth unadulterated lies.
Do these folks really think that sane voters would prefer a 98% unemployment rate increase to 2% percent decrease in unemployment?
Well, what about the long held theory that taxes cuts create jobs and help the economy. We had 8 years to try this theory out. Not only did it result in a 98% increase in unemployment but it also resulted in an economic crash and the greatest recession since the Great Depression. Did it work? Didn’t the Clinton administration end up with 4 years of a Federal surplus and a 4.7% unemployment rate? Do voters really want to believe that if we try the Republican’s economic solution again it will work this time? Are voters that stupid?
Well, what about health care and lassie faire? We have tried decades of letting the market decide in the Republican promise that the market would solve the problem. Did it work? How much longer do we need to TRY the market based approach? Ok, so let’s get rid of “Obama-care”…is the solution to go back to what we had before? Was it so much better? How many more decades do we need to try the market approach? If we cut everyone off and get rid of the debt, are we willing to let men, women and children die in the streets from lack of health care while we satiate ourselves in our country clubs? What is the solution? Is there one?
The more interesting questions are:
1) What kind of folks continue to spin out lies decade after decade to get and keep political power?
2) Why does it seem to work?
When an ideology continually repeats lies to sustain and get power the word that describes it is “propaganda”. The main purpose of propaganda is to manipulate. There are two assumptions that propaganda proves out:
1) Those that are have the money and power to create this marketing blitz are the elite “knowers”. They are willing to do anything to obfuscate their true motives. Their apparent contradictions are smoking mirrors cleverly designed to play on folk’s emotions and trick folks into supporting their true agenda – protecting the rich and powerful. At the bottom of this machine is a pure Darwinian belief that power needs no justification, logic or truth. Power is its own virtue. Conquest proves who the blessed are and who the cursed are.
2) People are stupid. They are “herdal” and cow-like. They cannot remember the past and have no sense of logic and rationality. They are zombies that can be manipulated and controlled by the elite. They can be made to run straight off a cliff to their own demise and believe the whole time that it is in their best interest.
While the elite would never make such an explicit statement of their intentions, their actions leave no doubt as to what their game really is.
I hope and want to believe they are wrong. I want to believe in logic, rationality and history. I would like to think that there is an intrinsic good in people that will overcome these schemes. I can’t say that I do not have doubts and maybe the Darwinian instinct is correct. However, if I were to believe this ideology I would find a certain meaninglessness and futility in existence. Maybe we should “make friends with the enemy” as Apocalypse Now” maintains. Maybe we should head straight of the cliffs and thank the wolves that made us believe we were doing it for our own good. Well, as for me, I am willing to hope against hope, if that is what it takes, to adopt a more optimistic approach to human existence. I suppose that this may be a kind of Kierkegaardian, existential staking out my “eternal happiness” on an absolute paradox…at least as thought from the dialectic of power. These choices are left to us individually whether we explicitly know it or tacitly “do it”. I find the belief that one is the “blessed” and “all-powerful” to be a comic tragedy of one’s own making in which the hero becomes the blind fool and forgets his end will be in the dust with his cows while the only thing that really mattered was humanity and concern, optimism and belief, the virtue of work – of harmony and balance with nature and logic, the scorned simplicity that faces us in the other.