Home > Democratic Responsibilities > Commentary By The Masses

Commentary By The Masses

I don’t usually read the comments on articles as I cruise the web. All it normally does it raise my blood pressure and make me faintly nauseous. But for the last couple of days, for some reason I’ve found myself scrolling through the comments on articles I’ve read. It had the desired affect: I now need my antacids and a blood pressure pill.

It also leaves me rather said and worried about the future of our union. Because rarely do I see a comment that represents real thought and understanding of the issue being discussed. Rather, the vast majority resemble talk radio or cable TV sound bites loaded up for shock value and one sentence partisan zingers. Here’s an example:

You think the private sector creates wealth and the government doesn’t? You’re a joke!

This is, apparently, now what passes for political converse and economic literacy in our country, because the discussion quickly descended into foul language and finger pointing from there. And it’s hardly unique. No, it’s about on par with most comment threads I looked at. It doesn’t take perusal of many comment or forum threads to understand why the Washington political landscape is as dysfunctional as it is. Not just for its hard line “my way or the highway” attitude, but also for its complete lack of common sense. The reality that, while government can create an environment in which the private sector can better create wealth, government does not create any wealth on its own was standard fair in economics 101 when I was in high school! And yet, over half of the posted to the comment thread above seriously believed that either only government created wealth or that it was at least as good at it as the private sector, and that there was no difference, economically speaking, between a government salary and a private sector salary.

With that kind of economic and political literacy, Is it any wonder the national debt now exceeds our GDP?

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