If you can stand to read this Blog regularly, then you probably already saw John Stossel’s 20/20 special last night. Lies, Myths, and Downright Stupidity. In what we have come to expect from Stossel, an excellent job.
Here are some highlights:
– Running contrary to the common hobgoblin who’s stealing all of our time and running us ragged, we actually have more free time now than ever, work less, and spend more time with the kids.
– The average family does not need two incomes. In fact, average income has trippled in the last 50 years, after adjusting for inflation. Most families have two incomes simply because there’s so many more things to do and stuff to buy, and Americans want them.
– Money does not buy happiness. Turns out that money only "buys happiness" if your income is under $30k, which makes sense, since under $30k, you’re probably going without a lot of basic stuff and are clearly living below "minimum standards" in America. However, above $50k, more money does not seem to matter.
– This one’s for all you well-meaning, value-cherishing Republicans out there who think you have principles. Well, I’ve got news for you. You have no principles, at least not when it comes to politics. Republicans do not shrink government, never have, never will. In the last 75 years, no Republican president has ever reduced the size of the FedGov one bit. Rather, they have all increased it, and usually, they increase it to larger proportions and more rapidly than do Democrats (that’s true since Nixon, at least). Spending is up 25% since G.W. Bush took office, and since the Republicans won the House and Senate majorities 10 years ago, in the 1994 "Republican Revolution," (don’t make me laugh) the size of the federal government has doubled.
– The rich pay far more than their fair share of taxes. The richest 1% (over $300k) pay 34% of all income taxes, according to the IRS. The top 5% (over $125k) pay about 55% of all income taxes. It was funny when Stossel asked Al "Tawana" Sharpton his thoughts and he said that the rich "pay much less than 10%, much less than 5%" and then added that they "should pay 15%." When Stossel told him they already pay 34%, he changed the subject.
– Chemicals are not killing us. Cancer death rates are declining. 2-3 million also die each year because of DDT. Not because of it’s use, but because of its non-use and the consequent rise of malaria. It’s the only really effective mosquito eradication method known. In spite of the way DDT used to be used indiscriminately, there are no documented instances of any problems caused to humans — only thinning egg shells in birds. Oh, and for all you "natural is better and man-made sucks" nutbars out there, both cerlery and brocolli contain known carcinogens (naturally). It’s the dose that’s important.
– Guns do not lead to more crime. CDC can find no evidence that background checks, waiting periods, and bans on certain guns have had any effect on crime. 36 States now allow anyone in good standing to get a concealed carry permit, and there is no detectable upsurge in crime.
– We’re not drowning in garbage. Landfill capacity is increasing, and there is stiff competition for garbage. Some communities put parks and golf courses on top of old trash sites. There’s adequate capacity with no adverse effects for the next 1000 years and more.