Summary: More examples of our broken observation-orientation-decision-action loop (OODA), that makes it difficult for us to see the world clearly and take effective action. I increasingly believe this to be one of the major factors driving the death of the Second Republic, allowing construction of the Plutocratic New America on its ruins. Today we look at examples from the Right (but it afflicts both Left and Right). We can fix this with more skepticism, critical thinking, and shunning of those who lie to us.
- The Death Spiral of Liberal States
- The bailout of GM was a failure
- Being on welfare counts as employed
These are widely circulated lies. I have seen them repeated by smart, educated people. We have to be as careful with what we believe as what we eat. America would be stronger if we had more info-vegans (i.e., highly skeptical people, who push-back against those who tell us lies).
(1) The Death Spiral of Liberal States
“These 11 States now have More People on Welfare than they do Employed! And Surprise-Surprise!!! These States vote straight democrat ticket every election – living on the government plantation.”
A commonplace tale on Right-wing chain emails and blogs. Repeatedly debunked as false on several levels. See the analysis by the estimable Snopes (should be bookmarked on your PC), and another at PoliFact-Texas.
(2) The bailout of GM was a failure
Many on the Right-wing continue to say this, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. See Dana Milbank at the Washington Post for the facts.
(3) Being on welfare counts as employed
“One of the reasons the reported unemployment rate isn’t higher is that the State of California’s statistically considers all 1,427,000 welfare recipients to be “employed.”
— By Chriss Street at The American Thinker, 14 December 2013
The article Street links to provides no evidence for that astonishing assertion, because it is quite daft. There are two Federal surveys of employment:
- The establishment survey, which asks employers about their workers. This obviously does not include people without jobs.
- The Household Survey, which asks people if they have a job — and if not, are they looking for work. This will consider people on welfare as unemployed if they do not have a job and are not seeking work (e.g., if fully disabled).
Many people on welfare have jobs because even full time work at the minimum wage puts a family below the Federal poverty level (see Barry Ritholtz’s report), and hence eligible for some form of benefits (e.g., food stamps, Medicaid, cash).