December 18, 2005

Free Market Project Names “The Media’s Top 10 Economic Myths of 2005″

It’s a pretty accurate list (HT Amy Ridenour, who has been on a roll lately). Many of these myths were busted at this site this year, but go to the link for relatively succinct rebuttals:

  1. The U.S. economy is hopeless — There are plenty of reasons to doubt the economy. Gas prices; housing bubble; auto workers losing jobs… the evidence is everywhere.
  2. Big money-makers like the oil and drug industries should be sharing the wealth. Oil companies were profiting off others’ misfortunes – laughing all the way to the bank while you got squeezed at the pump. And Wal-Mart’s business practices were just as bad.
  3. Rising energy prices mean there won’t be much in little Timmy’s stocking this Christmas. Mom and dad can’t heat their home and buy food, so other business sectors are going to get Scrooged.
  4. America is suffering from an obesity epidemic, so we’ve got to keep everyone away from foods and beverages with calories. This has become the nation’s No. 1 health problem and we’re dying at the rate of 400,000 a year.
  5. The housing market, white-hot for so long, is about to go bust and take you and your home’s value with it.
  6. With homes and businesses destroyed and the nation’s oil supply hit, the United States will surely hemorrhage jobs and head toward a huge downturn in Katrina’s wake.
  7. At least our good-hearted celebrities understand that compared to other nations, America doesn’t give much to help the world’s poor.
  8. Thanks to the U.S. rejection of the Kyoto treaty, global warming is on the rise and warmer oceans are spawning deadlier hurricanes than ever.
  9. Spending for hurricane recovery and Iraq is driving the U.S. deficit out of control. The only answer is to raise taxes to pay for it all.
  10. France’s short work week, benefits and loads of vacation time made it a workers’ paradise.

I can only think of one replacement, and I would put it at Number 2, while throwing out Number 4 (obesity): The “there is no crisis” claim about Social Security and Medicare. The unfunded liability of Social Security alone went up a $660 billion this year to $12.8 trillion, and will go up by ever-accelerating amounts in each coming years if the crisis isn’t dealt with. Medicare is actually an even bigger albatross.

Look at the bright side: At least during 2005 we didn’t have to endure the previous 2 years’ endless (and inaccurate) whining about the “jobless recovery.”


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