Accepting Unpleasant Truths

From time to time Thomas Sowell will publish an article called “Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene”. Despite the bullet points indicating a new thought, and despite the title of the article, some commenters still appear to have difficulty understanding why Sowell is jumping around from subject to subject. One commenter wrote, “this doesn’t seem to be a cohesive argument at all”. Its kind of scary the apparent low level of reading comprehension many people have. I think a lot of readers also fall into the category of people who refuse to believe certain things, despite evidence, because those truths make them uncomfortable.

People who refuse to accept unpleasant truths have no right to complain about politicians who lie to them. What other kind of candidates would such people elect?

Why vote for the guy that tells you it will be a long, tough road to recovery, when the other guy is promising government intervention that can immediately make everything better? I’m not even talking about specific politicians, but a lot of people vote for the guy that they wish was right, or that makes them feel better. Romney and Obama both supported raising the minimum wage, because voters hear that and think it will make things better for poor and young people with minimum wage jobs. But since raising minimum wage increases minority and youth unemployment because it is harder to get entrance level jobs, raising the minimum wage only makes you look nice and neighborly on the outside; in reality supporting this means the destruction of entrance level jobs which allow advancement. The tough truth is that no one is supposed to live on minimum wage, it is a stepping stone to something better which you have to work hard and acquire skills to obtain.

Ever since I learned, as a teenager, that the “Saturday Evening Post” magazine was actually published on Wednesday mornings, I have been very skeptical about words. “Gun control” laws do not control guns, “rent control” laws do not control rent and government “stimulus” spending does not stimulate the economy.

Again, this is what I believe is intellectual laziness. People do not want to bother thinking through all the consequences of making something illegal, be it alcohol in the 20’s, drugs later, or guns now. Rent control sounds great when we imagine hard working poor people getting the apartments. But what happens is connected people with the right friends get the desirable rent controlled apartments, and the poor people get stuck in the rent controlled apartments which have deteriorated because the landlord cannot afford to make updates, and doesn’t have to because all the apartments are filled anyway. And as for the stimulus, some people just don’t seem to believe in economics. The same dollar cannot be spent twice; if the government is spending the dollar, that means you and I don’t get too. We stimulate our local school, farmers market, theater, and restaurant. The government stimulates billionaires’ failing solar panel businesses and the oil companies owned by the same billionaires.

President Obama’s denial of knowledge about the various scandals in his administration that are starting to come to light suggests that his titles should now include Innocent-Bystander-in-Chief.

Obama is either incompetent or corrupt (or a little of both). But no one wanted to believe the unpleasant truths about Obama, or look past the rhetoric. Obama campaigned on change, yet somehow everything that went wrong during his administration was because he kept something in place that Bush was doing. Similarly Bill Clinton signed DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, into law and yesterday praised the Supreme Court for striking it down. We should learn from this before we vote for the next President.

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