If reality is consensual, illusions are only a problem if they are not shared by enough people; and, of course, if they are so at odds with reality that they lead to shipwreck. Still, millions of willing lemmings always abound, ready to be picked up by comets or tax cuts or whatever insane promises issue from the feverish imagination of desperate manipulators.
Reality deniers like James Inhofe return from the Mountain Top, “I have seeeeen the science – and The Lord has revealed to me that it is junk.” Well, I have books cluttering up my house, too, and they are a form of junk – until you open them and read them! James Inhofe wouldn’t know junk if it was hanging between his legs. To bolster his comic routine, he and his co-reality scramblers claim that the entire world scientific community is on the take, corrupted by the deep pockets of hippies and tree huggers! Swing Low, Sweet Cometariot.
With the entire scientific community in thrall to the poor and feckless, it should come as no surprise that the chairman of the Harvard (yes, that Harvard) Department of Economics is a political hack. Yes, that Greg Mankiw. Economics adviser to the Romney election campaign. Interviewed on NPR yesterday, he insisted that he did not want to lower taxes for the rich: “What we need is tax reform. Raising revenues will be achieved as part of an overall program of lowering rates and broadening the base.” In other words, giving more breaks to the rich and taxing the poor (by which I mean, the middle class). This kind of double talk unmasks the good professor as a hack – just this side of a tea bagger. The media and the public need to understand that economics, especially on the right, is becoming increasingly political. We need to educate ourselves, study Michael Hudson, Steve Keen, Yves Smith. As money plays a growing role in everything, an understanding of economics is becoming crucial to comprehending the world. Watch for talking points like “broadening the base”. That’s code for “placing a greater burden on the poor”. It’s the very premise of Obamacare: “By having more people in the system (a broader base), the overall costs of health care will come down.” True enough – but not enough for the broader base (the poor), who will become increasingly indebted, bankrupt, homeless and, if current trends continue, criminalized by the debt collection apparatus. Gee, I hope there’s another comet coming soon.