November 18, 2007

Top 5 Economic Myths, with Links to Related Posts

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:55 pm

Note: This post has been carried to the top so that tonight’s Pundit Review listeners can immediately see it.


Tonight on Pundit Review radio, among other things, we covered the Top Five Economic Myths in America today. Thanks to Kevin and Gregg for having me on.

They Five Myths are:

Number 5. The “need” for universal health insurance, or at least near-universal insurance for children.

(8 PM — Question 5 was changed to “insurance” vs. “health care,” because, as Gregg of Pundit Review noted in a column a few months ago [Point 2 at the link], it has been illegal to deny health care to anyone regardless of ability to pay since 1986.)

Universal, government-paid, single-payer insurance is not needed, not wanted (even in uber-liberal Oregon, which rejected it 79%-21% in 2002), hasn’t worked in other countries, and appears to be well on its way to not working in Massachusetts. As to current legislation, the congressional majority has shown that it is less interested in covering those who are currently uninsured than they are in expanding the numbers of people whose health care is paid for by the government. Current federal legislation that was supposedly about health care for poor children, legislation that vetoed by the President, did not focus on ensuring that the children of the working poor would be covered, but rather was all about expanding government-paid children’s health care to families annually earning as much as $60,000, $80,000, or more — and often even to adults. Polling on the topic has been fundamentally dishonest and deceptive.

  • Oct. 17 — NPR et al’s Bull-SCHIP Push Poll (Update: CBS Too)
  • Oct. 10 — SCHIP Income Eligibility: ….. Hey, It Looks Like the Sky’s the Limit!
  • Sept. 21 — Hillarycare II and Coercion
  • March 8 — SCHIP-ping Way Away at What’s Left of the Private Healthcare System (also see underlying post from fellow blogger Porkopolis)

Number 4. America is de-industrializing, and manufacturing is dying.

This is no more true than if someone in the 1950s had decried “de-agrification”; manufacturing has almost never stopped growing, although at a slower rate than overall GDP, because other economic sectors have exploded.

  • Aug. 18 — Myth Busted: “De-industrialization”

The number of people working in manufacturing is going down for the same reason that farm employment fell so dramatically after World War II (from 16% of American workers to less than 2% today) — significant and consistent improvements in productivity. That’s okay, because the employment statistics show that, in general, people who are losing their jobs are finding another job elsewhere, and there is transitional assistance (unemployment compensation, employer severance pay, etc.) during the adjustment period.

Number 3. We are in a recession (not heading for one, actually IN one).

A recession is, by definition, two negative quarters of economic growth. No matter how you feel about the economy, you can’t say it is in a recession until this has taken place, or until you’re sure it will. The economy has expanded during the last 24 consecutive quarters. In the two previous quarters, Gross Domestic Product growth has been an annualized 3.8% (2nd quarter final) and 3.9% (3rd quarter advance, subject to revisions). The manufacturing and service sectors of the economy both expanded in October. Despite all of this, and because of the constant economic gloom and doom spread by Old Media, CNN reported in October that 46% of Americans think we’re in a recession.

  • Nov. 5 — The Economy Is So Bad ….
  • Dec. 2, 2005 — 43% of the Country Believes We’re in a Recession!

Number 2. Most people are just scraping by.

A new report this month from The Conference Board on discretionary income definitively says otherwise. 63.5% of Americans have discretionary income — up from 52% just 3-4 years ago, 52% in the late 1990s, and only 30% or so during the 1980s.

  • Nov. 10 — A Stunning Report on ‘Discretionary Income’ Old Media Uses Its Discretion to Ignore

Number 1. Income inequality is growing, the rich are getting richer, and they aren’t paying their fair share of taxes.

A nine-year study of economic mobility just released by the Treasury Department shows that Americans are moving up the economic ladder as fast or faster than they ever have, even from the bottom levels, and that real income gains of 24% during the nine years studied (1996-2005) were over double the 11% achieved during the previous nine years (1987-1996).

  • Nov. 13 — Treasury’s Income Mobility Report Blows Away ‘Mediocre Bush Economy’ and Other Myths
  • Dec. 26, 2006 — Psst: Wages Are Not Stagnant, AND (Gasp!) They Are Outperforming the 1990s
  • May 16, 2006 — The “Evil” Rich are Carrying Us

The Conference Board report just mentioned shows that more people than ever are doing just fine — yet the current congressional majority wants to expand entitlement programs like government-funded health care (e.g., SCHIP) to an ever-greater portion of the middle class — for no good reason.



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