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View Diary: Civil Society and Economic Recovery: Facing Facts--Part 1 (4 comments)

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  •  Some comments and suggestions (0+ / 0-)

    I confess I only made it half way through this article.  The article is good: good topic, well thought out, and well written.  The lenght is a problem for me.  There are ways to help the reader with the long length: a brief overview at the start telling the reader what is to come; subheadings to let the reader know where we are in the overall whole; frequent summations to again let the reader kinow the overall terrain.

    Now a comment on the nation's flight from facts and reality: if you pay a person enough, they are more likely to say strange things.

    I think some of the conservatives' abandonment of facts and empirical evidence is they are being paid to have a particular position.  Take tax cuts for the wealthy.  The wealthy backers fund the election campaigns of many congressmen and women.  It should be no suprise then that those congressmen and women repeatedly say we should have tax cuts for the wealthy, even when expert economists and the congress' own research outfit say tax cuts for the wealthy do not help the economy as a whole, or are a major source of the federal deficit.

    Same with climate change.  The evidence is overwhelming that climate change is occurring and a threat to our peace and prosperity.  Yet many congressmen say climate change is a hoax.  Of course, these congress men receive generous "campaign contributions" from the petroleum and coal industry.  So they in fact being paid to say things that fly in the face of empiric evidence.

    So in my mind, a large part of the retreat from facts is that prominent Americans have a financial incentive to say things that are counter-factual.

    I'm sorry if you have covered the "paid spokesperson" aspect of our retreat from rational discourse in the later part of your article.  I hope to have enough time to sit down and read the whole article soon.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 09:42:44 AM PST

    •  paid to believe the fairy tales (0+ / 0-)

      I think commenter Bissell has a good point.
      Clearly if "conservative" elected officials depart from the Party line (note the ironic Soviet reference here) they will not get the campaign contributions they need to win.
      And I suspect that if you are forced to say something for long enough and are surrounded by an echo chamber of people who say the same thing (whether they believe it either) you are likely to come to really believe it. As evidence, Mitt Romney surely believed he was going to win on election night despite all the polling results to the contrary.

      •  A return to sanity (0+ / 0-)

        In my opinion, a return to facts and reality in our national discourse will be fostered by removing the inherently corrupting influece of private money on our elected law-makers.

        If all our elections are funded entirely with public money, our representatives would have no need to take any position to ensure generous private donations.  The law-maker would then be free to speak their conscience, or represent the majority of voters in their districts, as they understand those voters.

        With elections publicly funded, the representatives would then need to appeal to the largest group of voters, not the wealthiest donors.
         

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 10:20:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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