Puncturing Another Progressive Myth

Discussion in 'Economy' started by PoliticalChic, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Platinum Member

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    I get such a kick out of Donald J. Boudreaux, professor of economics at George Mason University!

    He regularly writes a letter to the editor of a major American publication in response to an absurdity, or an incorrect statement, offered up by a columnist or politician, and the following, totally skewers one of our Liberal White House hacks.




    Here is one of Boudreaux's missives:

    Editor, Washington Post
    1150 15th St., NW
    Washington, DC 20071

    Dear Editor:

    You report that Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, recently “displayed a chart showing how food stamps and other social programs had lowered poverty dramatically over the past half century.... But the graph also showed that the economy itself had done nothing for the poor: Only government dollars had” (“Economist Jason Furman is the wonkiest wonk in the White House,” Feb. 13).



    .... Mr. Furman is mistaken to assert that, over the past half century, “the economy itself had done nothing for the poor.”

    Here’s a link to a 2008 article with its own charts.... shows that the percentage of poor American households in 2005 to have refrigerators, stoves, color televisions, air conditioning, and automatic dishwashers is higher than was the percentage of all American households in 1971 to have these amenities. And my own research suggests an important reason for this happy fact: the amount of time that ordinary (“non-supervisory”) workers must work in order to earn enough income to buy these (and many other) products is today is much lower than it was decades ago.

    [link here: http://www.american.com/archive/2008/july-august-magazine-contents/how-are-we-doing/]




    For example, to buy a 22 cubic feet refrigerator-freezer, such a worker in 1975 had to toil for 140 hours. To buy the same size refrigerator-freezer today, the typical American worker must work only 52 hours. To buy a 30” electric range and oven cost the typical American worker in 1975 125 hours of work; today such a range and oven costs the typical American worker only 21 hours of work.



    Similar reductions in work-time costs have occurred for food, clothing, and countless other goods and services — a trend that is strong evidence that “the economy itself” continues to improve the living standards of middle-income and poor Americans.

    Sincerely,
    Donald J. Boudreaux
    Professor of Economics
    and
    Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
    George Mason University
    Fairfax, VA 22030
    Nothing? Nothing At All?






    "....strong evidence that “the economy itself” continues to improve the living standards of middle-income and poor Americans."


    So much for the 'poor are getting poorer' trope.

    I know that the above won't convince our Liberal pals......facts never do.
     
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  2. Spoonman
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    Spoonman Gold Member

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    so now according to liberals , all these people on entitlements are no longer considered poor? this is what they call a success story?
     
  3. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Platinum Member

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    As you know, the 'poverty' definition is a fabricated and wholly owned copyright of Leftist pols, useful as long as simpleminded voters buy it like it was on sale.
     
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  4. Iceweasel
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    Iceweasel Gold Member

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    Accuracy is not the goal of the progressive. Bigger government is, no matter what. Any faults will be blamed on something else because the bigger the government is the better things are supposed to be.
     
  5. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    The economy itself helps the poor if it is targeted at the poor.

    The economy can grow healthier while the poor grow poorer.

    As some of us are just now realizing.
     
  6. HereWeGoAgain
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    HereWeGoAgain Gold Member

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    Sounds like they need to get a job.
     
  7. Howey
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    Howey Gold Member

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    How very libertarian of him!

    HOW DARE THOSE POOR PEOPLE ENJOY A BETTER LIFER THAN THEY DID IN 1970! SHAME ON THEM!

    AND HOW DARE THEY HAVE FANCY NICETIES LIFER REFRIGERATORS AND STOVES!!!

    HOW DARE THEY!
     
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  8. usmcstinger
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    usmcstinger VIP Member

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    Obviously, you have no understanding of basic economics.
    No viable sources are listed. The stupid statement comes from your lack of intelligence
    and living in a delusional world.
     
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  9. HereWeGoAgain
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    HereWeGoAgain Gold Member

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    I know right! But why do they complain so much?
     
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  10. Impenitent
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    Impenitent Gold Member

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    By clipping Mr. Furman's quote, Mr Boudreaux (and yourself) miss the point of Furman's statement, which is, that the economy has not produced enough JOBS for working class Americans.

    True, household appliances have gone down in net cost, yet that isn't an achievement of the American economy, but a by-product of production shift to impoverished, cheap labor pools over seas, and improvements in technologies.

    But this has been at a great expense to the American worker, who now finds himself under-employed, if employed at all.

    And I'm sure that the reductions in costs for the appliances have been eaten up by the increased energy costs of powering them.

    And you say nothing of the other costs of living! Man cannot live on bread toaster ovens alone! What about food, shelter, transportation, communication, and, of course, health care! All of these things combine to overwhelm the poor.

    We have a national political party that ignores the poor, (except when they vote!), and the only concern they seem to have, is how they can expediciously reduce their voting numbers.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014

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