Nancy Eubanks: Facts do matter in sharing opinion
Recently, several people, including Stan Meckler, have questioned my statistics published in a recent column. I spend a lot of time researching my facts on the Internet to make sure they are accurate and support my statements.
I start with Ask.com, a website that provides many sources pertaining to my particular questions. Other sources include Gallup polls, Rasmussen polls, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Huffington Post.
Other websites that have good economic information are the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, The Economic Policy Institute, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). They get much of their information from the Congressional Budget Office, The Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Office of Management and Budget. My other sources are Robert Reich, Stanford economic professor, and Paul Krugman, Nobel Memorial Prize winner in economic science. Please feel free to check out any of my facts.
So let’s look at some of Stan Meckler’s statements — that, by the way, were not supported by any facts, merely opinions.
Under Obama’s policies “the poor among us will get hurt the most.” How does raising the minimum wage, having affordable health care, affordable childcare, affordable post secondary education, food stamps and other safety net programs hurt the poor?
Obama’s policy costs “would fall mostly on small businesses.” How does closing loopholes that benefit large corporations that move jobs overseas or wealthy hedge fund managers/investors who pay only 15 percent tax rate or less hurt small businesses?
“The middle class has shrunk more under this administration than most past administrations.” Fact: wages have been stagnant since the 1980s. Since Reagonomics and tax policies that encourage companies to move jobs overseas, most of the gains in economic wealth in this country have gone to the top 1 percent and even more so to the top .01 percent. The disparity in wealth growth has been huge even during our latest recession and not because of policies supported by the Obama Administration or Democrats.
“The policies of the left have never worked in any country where it has been tried.” Says who? Fact: the biggest growth in the middle class in the U.S. happened under the “left” progressive policies of FDR from the late 1940s-1970s. The “trickle down, supply economics” mythology of the Republicans, proven to be totally false but still the focus of their latest proposed budget, has been the real bane of the middle class. There are many developed countries with healthy economies that include progressive liberal policies. Today, Scandinavian countries have a strong middle class. According to the OCED, they also have one of the lowest poverty rates of all its members at about 4 percent; whereas, the United States has the highest poverty rate of all member-nations at 17 percent overall, and 25 percent for children. This is disgraceful for the richest country in the world. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the low poverty rate in these Scandinavian countries is due to the strong social safety net, childcare credits, earned income tax credits and other programs that — yes, redistribute some of the income from the wealthy to the poor.
Stan’s statement about universal health care not working and causing economic ruin was just plain wrong. Universal health care in France is rated number one among all countries by the World Health Organization and the cost is about half that of U.S. health care. Other countries with universal health care have similar cost advantages. Economic problems in countries like Greece are due to huge numbers of people not paying the taxes they owe — they don’t have effective tax oversight/enforcement like the IRS provides in the U.S.
I know some people call me naive — particularly those who have their minds made up and no amount of facts will change them — but I have to keep trying and facts are facts.
Nancy Eubanks, who lives in Rough and Ready and is a member of the Nevada County Democratic Central Committee, is a member of The Union Editorial Board. Her opinion is her own and does not reflect the viewpoint of The Union or its editorial board.
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