Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Decades of "Mainstream" Fraud and Failure Without Consequences


CEPR |  Carlos Lozada, the non-fiction book critic for the Washington Post, promised "an honest investigation" of whether truth can survive the Trump administration in the lead article in the paper's Sunday Outlook section. He delivers considerably less.

Most importantly and incredibly, Lozada never considers the possibility that respect for traditional purveyors of "truth" has been badly weakened by the fact that they have failed to do so in many important ways in recent years. Furthermore, they have used their elite status (prized university positions and access to major media outlets) to deride those who challenged them as being unthinking illiterates.

This dynamic is most clear in the trade policy pursued by the United States over the last four decades. This policy had the predicted and actual effect of eliminating the jobs of millions of manufacturing workers and reducing the pay of tens of millions of workers with less than a college education. The people who suffered the negative effects of these policies were treated as stupid no-nothings and wrongly told that their suffering was due to automation or was an inevitable product of globalization. 

These claims are what those of us still living in the world of truth know as "lies," but you will never see anyone allowed to make these points in the Washington Post. After all, its readers can't be allowed to see such thoughts. (Yes, I am once again plugging my [free] book Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer.)

This was far from the only major failure of the purveyors of truth. The economic crisis caused by the collapse of the housing bubble cost millions of workers their jobs and/or houses. While this collapse was 100 percent predictable for anyone with a basic knowledge of economics, with almost no exceptions, our elite economists failed to see it coming and ridiculed those who warned of the catastrophe.