Saturday, November 1, 2014

Progressive Arguments to Consider for Midterm Voters

A hallmark of progressive politics is the ability to hold fervent beliefs, in defiance of evidence, that explain how the world works – and why liberal solutions must be adopted.

Kate Bachelder. Assistant editorial features editor at the Wall Street Journal, “The Top 10 Liberal Superstitions," Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2014

In considering how to vote on November 4, there are multiple progressive arguments to weigh - among them, the overall competence of the Obama administration and the arguments advanced by its advocates as reasons for voting for the progressive Democratic agenda.

Among these cherished arguments, the truth of the following assertions must be weighed against the evidence.

1) Spending more money improves education - Not in the U.S. if you consider U.S. student test scores compared to other nations who spend far less.

2) Government spending stimulates the economy - Not if you consider the sluggish 2.2% growth since 2008, the worst recovery since World War II, in spite of the 2009 $838 billion stimulus package.

3) Republican always have a spending advantage over Democrats - There is no evidence of this. In fact, the opposite is true if take into account spending by the Democrat ($127 million)and the GOP national committees ($97 milion).

4) Raising the minimum wage helps the poor
- Not for the poor as a whole, who will lose 500,000 jobs, and only 18% of which would flow to those below the poverty line.

5) Global warming is causing increasingly violent weather
– Not for Floridians, who haven’t had a hurricane hit land in the last nine years, and who enjoyed the least active hurricane in 30 years.

6) Genetically modified food is dangerous - There is not a smidgen of evidence to support this claim.

7) Voter ID-laws suppress minority turnou – Not necessarily so. 30 states have voter-ID laws, 16 offer free IDs, The Government Accountability Office studies 10 of these states show- five had not effect, four showed a slight decrease in turnout among all ethic groups, and one found an increase in turnout.

8) ObamaCare is increasing in popularity - Not for the public at large, which is the latest CBC/WSJ polls oppose the ACA by a record 19 points (55% to 36%), or among physicians.ess than 4% give ObmaCare an “A” while 46% give it a “D” or an “F”.

9) The Keystone XL pipeline would increase oil spills. Not if you consider the alternative – shipping oil by train. In 2013, pipelines spilled 910, 000 million gallons while railroad tankers spilled 1.5 million, even though pipelinrs carried 25 times more oil.

10) Women are paid 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. Not if you compare full-time men workers to full-time women workers. When this is done, the pay-gap disappears.

I believe, three days hence on November 4, Republicans will win big, not because of their superior values or because they articulate those values well, but because the ten superstitions described above are insufficiently and ambiguously documented, because America is basically a center-right rather than a center-left nation, because we are the exemplar of democratic humanism rather than colonial aggression, because we believe in free enterprise and economic growth as the antidote and solution to social injustice, because the middle class is weary of the obsession with minorities, the young, and single women, because most of us reject the notion there is a war on women, and because America is governed by the consent of the governed rather than expertise of the elite.

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