Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's not the income or the education, stupid.

A recent poll shows that the TeaScreamers are somewhat more economically secure and somewhat better educated than the average American. So?

The main fact is that the Screamers are woefully uneducated about the issues. They don't know what socialism is or how it is practiced these days. They don't know the difference between "taxation without representation" and taxes passed by their elected representatives. It's not even clear that they understand our representative democracy: how it works and their responsibilities as citizens. And, they don't know what is or isn't in the recently passed Health Reform Bill (nor do many of us, for that matter). Here's a not untypical TeaScreamer as described by the Boston Globe:

Lindsay Lacombe, who wore an "I [Love] Fox News" T-shirt, drove in from Fitchburg, in part to protest the health care reforms.

"This is something I really wanted to participate in," said Lacombe, 22, a junior at Fitchburg State College. "I don't understand how everyone can get free health care. It's not right."

When it was explained that the new law requires many of the newly insured to make some contribution toward their health insurance, she said: "I'm not a political science major."

Another Screamer, Anna Kaczowka of Hanover, said:

It's just the minorities and the illegals who are getting the benefits. Everybody who works gets nothing.

You don't have to be a logician to get the implication: "minorities and illegals" don't work. Just in, Anna: half the country consists of non-whites. Also, if "illegals" are taking jobs from whites, as many Screamers contend, doesn't that mean that they are working?

Several people I know who attended the Boston TeaScreamer's over-publicized meeting on Boston Common (and other rallies) reported similar nonsense -- and worse.

But, it's not just the Tea Screamers. Our new senator Scott Brown is going around saying that the Democrats' proposed financial regulation bill would kill 25,000 to 35,000 jobs in Massachusetts alone. He claims the estimate comes from the chief executive of MassMutual, a big insurance company located in Springfield. However, MassMutual itself denies giving Brown any such figure; in fact, they admitted that their own figures were probably dramatically inflated. Barney Frank has the best explanation of Brown's number: "It may have just been spewed out by the Icelandic volcano with some of the other debris."

For a more complete analysis of Brown's nonsense figures, see the column Numbers game by business analyst Steven Syre in today's Globe.

No comments:

Post a Comment