5 Lies, Distortions and Doublethink in the Wall Street Journal, Dec. 5-6, 2016

“The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.” (Orwell, 1984)

  1. There is no evidence that proprietary trading caused or even contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. It all comes down to what you mean by”evidence” and “contributed.” The phrase “or even contributed” further ups the rhetorical stakes. It’s as if The Big Short never existed.
  2. Federal building and land use regulations have strangled the economy and need to be streamlined and repealed to unleash market forces. (Repealing Davis Bacon would be a good start.) Limiting liability awards and frivolous lawsuits will be a key factor in this streamlining.
  3. Doctors across America are euphoric over the looming Obamacare repeal, paving the way for a fairer, more transparent and consumer-driven health care system. This health care Nirvana will be the final apotheosis of the free market. In anticipation of this oncoming privatization of health care, keep track of ominous and telltale buzzwords in the health care debate: competition, cost awareness, catastrophic coverage, high deductibles, high payments up front, government-run clinics, much higher premiums for patients with pre-existing conditions, major tort reform limiting malpractice suits, etc. Don’t say we haven’t been warned about what’s coming.
  4. A prime culprit in the 2008 financial meltdown were affordable housing mandates forced on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In fact, Ben Carson, the designated new HUB Secretary, should privatize public housing, put time limits on how long tenants can stay in public housing, end affirmative  fair housing laws, etc. In the past, Carson has said that he opposes governmental efforts at desegregation, calling it failed socialism.
  5. Labor unions are the primary obstacle in the way of worker freedom. Right-to-work laws are the wedge issue to use to destroy labor unions and somehow, paradoxically, increase workers’ rights.
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