Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Creative Language that distorts the REAL

Propaganda: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause also a public action having such an effect

Each of my posts begin with the definition of propaganda.  That's to remind readers to be skeptical and critical of anything someone else is hawking.  Followers of this Blog probably realize I've been paying attention to the "Tea Party" movement lately. One thing I've noticed is the way they use deceptive wording to spread their message.  For instance, whatever happened to the "Moral Majority" or the "Religious Right"?  Those were terms used in the past to describe pretty much the same folks now calling themselves the "Tea Party".  I guess over time people came to realize they were neither moral nor the majority and religious meant only certain religions. 

Now comes the "Tea Party".  Kinda invokes visions of patriots protesting against taxation without representation.  Except they are not unrepresented just not over-represented as they are use to.  Once again, let's choose a name that leads people to believe we are something we're not.  Let's say we believe in limited federal government and states rights.  It sounds so intellectual and vaguely beneficial surely Americans will rally behind those beliefs.  Hmmm, I thought the Civil War settled that argument, apparently not.

How about this one:  We believe in "free enterprise or the free market" therefore we support de-regulation.  From my point of view, de-regulation is a fancy way of saying "make something legal that used to be illegal".
Anyone remember the term "usury"?  If not, I'll just say its a fancy word for "loan sharking" and it used to be illegal.  The government placed limits on interest rates money lenders (gangsters, credit card companies, payday loans, etc.) could charge thus preventing borrowers from getting into massive debt with no hope of repaying.  During the era of privatization and de-regulation of the past twenty years or so, politicians and corporations were able to convince people that this trend was good for the economy and by inference good for everyone.  Well, here we are in 2010, how's that working out for you?

Of course, that's a rhetorical question since it has gotten so abusive and out of control congress and the present administration are hustling to pass a financial services reform act to try to protect consumers again.  The real irony is, when you couldn't pay the loan sharks they would send thugs to break your legs.  Now they ruin your credit.  Broken legs heal in six to eight weeks, bad credit reports last six to eight years.  Hmmm...?  Could it be that people were better off dealing with gangsters than credit card companies and yet we voted for this stuff.  I know Americans have extremely short political memories but it is time to start publicizing just who sold us this bill of goods and what they said to convince us.  Otherwise, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on ME.  It is just too easy to mislead the general public with rhetoric.  Making huge profits may indeed be beneficial to the economy but not if it pushes a significant portion of the population (the engine of the economy) to the brink of financial ruin.

That's just one example of the consequences of de-regulation of an industry.  In the United States we have de-regulated financial services, banking, telecommunications, insurance, health insurance and many other industries that have produced detrimental effects on practically every American citizen.  But where is the outrage?  Where are the protest marches and calls for heads to roll?  Oh that's right, they're at the pro/anti abortion rally or the pro/anti gay rights march or the pro/anti guns town hall meeting.  While those may be significant issues, we are all being ripped off regardless of your slant by de-regulated industries with a license to steal.

Finally, if I recall correctly from freshman econ class, the so called free market is supposed to be controlled by the consumer.  In that, consumers will determine the success or failure of commercial enterprises by exercising discretion based on which provided the best value or service.  If that were so, how would we ever end up with cellular company contracts where one has to pay to NOT have their service?  What did they say to sell us that one?  Hmmm...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ever wonder who the "Tea Party" members really are?

Propaganda: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause also a public action having such an effect.

Since the election of Barak Obama as the President of the United States there has been an angry uproar from a portion of the American population self identified as the “Tea Party Movement”. The American media seems utterly baffled by this group. Who are they? What do they want? And why are they so angry?