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It ain't as bad as the 'good 'ole days', and it's only getting better?
A 1975 Sears Catalog
1/26/06 Cafe Hayek As long as we keep government relatively limited, prosperity and progress will continue. Added to a new group posting 'Optimism'.
Myths, Lies and Straight Talk / A List of 10 Media-Fed Myths
12/30/05 ABC 20/20 Media spun myths on Time, Happiness, Republicans, Crowdedness, Chemicals, Guns, Garbage, Forests, Colds, and Life.
Another Myth that should have been added:
Buying a House is less of a bite
12/29/05 New York Times Despite a widespread sense that real estate has never been more expensive, families in the vast majority of the country can still buy a house for a smaller share of their income than they could have a generation ago. A sharp fall in mortgage rates since the early 1980's, a decline in mortgage fees and a rise in incomes have more than made up for rising house prices in almost every place outside of New York, Washington, Miami and along the coast in California.
Now, lets us view the effect of the bias of the media:
In a nationwide New York Times/CBS News poll conducted this month, 75 percent of respondents said they thought most families in their community spent a larger share of their income on housing now than in the 1980's. Only 5 percent said the share was smaller.
What explains this disconnect? Rush Limbaugh explains:
the key here is, families in the vast majority of the country can still buy a house for a smaller
share of their income than they could have a generation ago. Now, I tell you that, and you just
don't believe it, because you watch all the news about how high housing costs, and they are in lots
of the country, but where the people who write these stories live... Look it, these are the same
people that would need a visa to leave Washington or New York to go to Missouri to do some
reporting, because to them it's another country. It's flyover country. They fly over and they look
down and say, "Thank God I don't live there." If they did, they would have a far more
enjoyable life than where they are and they wouldn't be writing stories about how they can't afford
to do all they want to do on a $250,000-a-year income. So it just makes sense. This story, when you
read it -- and I'm not going to spend the whole time reading the whole thing to you here, but it
focuses on positive news and the economy. It has to!
If you can buy a house today for less of a bite of your income than you could 25 years ago, in the vast majority of the country, the economy has to be good. The economy has to be doing well, and the story also admits that news on housing prices and the economy is skewed because most people writing about real estate live in places like New York and LA, and they don't understand what it's like in other parts of the country. It is starkly different. It is incredibly different from where they live and breathe and work and moan and whine and complain, but it does form the basis of their reporting.
All of this echoes what is stated in Barry Glassner's 'Culture of Fear', which is that the media sells stories by playing up fears. Also, folks in the media see what they perceive to be 'wrongs' and their conscious dictates they advocate a position on the topic. If they exaggerate a bit, who cares? In fact, the more they exaggerate and inflame, the more likely something will get done to 'correct' the problem and, to further sweeten the temptation, it will also sell more papers. Of course, since most reporters are of the liberal mindset, the results of the 'correction' they advocate for most often accomplishes the opposite of their intentions. But, by then, they have moved on and are covering a different story.
The Plague of Success / The paradox of ever-increasing expectations.
12/29/05 National Review online
What explains this paradox of public disappointment over things that turn out better than anticipated? Why are we like children who damn their parents for not providing yet another new toy when the present one is neither paid for nor yet out of the wrapper?
One cause is the demise of history. The past is either not taught enough, or presented wrongly as a therapeutic exercise to excise our purported sins.
Either way the result is the same: a historically ignorant populace who knows nothing about past American wars and their disappointments — and has absolutely no frame of reference to make sense of the present other than its own mercurial emotional state in any given news cycle.
Few Americans remember that nearly 750 Americans were killed in a single day in a training exercise for D-Day, or that during the bloody American retreat back from the Yalu River in late 1950 thousands of our frozen dead were sent back stacked in trucks like firewood. Our grandparents in the recent past endured things that would make the present ordeal in Iraq seem almost pedestrian — and did all that with the result that a free Germany could now release terrorists or prosperous South Korean youth could damn the United States between their video games.
Instead, we of the present think that we have reinvented the rules of war and peace anew. After Grenada, Panama, Gulf War I, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and the three-week war to remove Saddam, we decreed from on high that there simply were to be no fatalities in the American way of war. If there were, someone was to be blamed, censured, or impeached — right now!
Second, there is a sort of arrogant smugness that has taken hold in the West at large. Read the papers about an average day in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Detroit, or even in smaller places like Fresno. The headlines are mostly the story of mayhem — murder, rape, arson, and theft.
Sanctuary, Part 2
5/18/05 Bill Whittle
We live in an age of miracles, and we just don’t see it. All of the magicians who stand on generations of other magicians – engineers, technicians, architects – go unnamed and unsung, while common actors, tradesmen whose art form has barely advanced since the days of Babylon and Egypt, are deified and rewarded as no living gods in history.
We, in our Sanctuary, who sleep in warm, dry, safe places without a second thought of the men and women who shiver in the cold to keep us free and secure, are getting very far away from the forces that have threatened us for millennia and threaten us still, as potent as the black rage of an incensed mob of religious lunatics killing people in response to some real or imagined slight.
And yet our elites – bored, pampered and without a glimmer of perspective – search the inside of our walls by night, looking for cracks to enlarge.
I can’t pretend to understand this. It is simply beyond my ability to grasp. Nor can I understand why so many rich people who so hate and despise this land do not simply move somewhere else.
Unless, of course, this is a giant game for them: a chess match of rhetoric to gain a little temporary political advantage, and the sullen petulance of someone deciding that if my candidate can’t be the one doing the liberating then entire nations can remain in darkness. This little thing for the price of destruction of all we have worked for. How can such selfishness face itself in the morning?
I don’t know why so many people can miss so many wonders and miracles that are laid right before their eyes. But I do know that their poison has cut deep in to the foundations of a country I love because I owe it my happy and comfortable life and all the opportunities – not guarantees, but opportunities – it has provided me and my family.
So we will fight this amnesia and ingratitude, you and I will, right here on these pages in the days to come.
The point is that we, the people of the United States, and even humanity itself, have never
had it so good and each day is getting better and better. There is success and wonderment and
prosperity and goodness all around us. We just need to open our eyes to see it.
You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
- Mark Twain
Curing Poverty or Using Poverty?
1/10/06 RCP Dr. Thomas Sowell Progress in China
Society softens sting of poverty
1/9/06 Waterbury Republican American (editorial)
See 'Optimism on Nov 8th'
And, 'International poverty rates'
Also see, 'The Poor'
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