In its sedulous efforts to accelerate the already rapid dumbing of America, Fox News is intensifying its suppression of economic facts. In John Stossel, Fox evidently has a sincere but stupid dispenser of preposterous misinformation.
Stossel recently lamented our economy’s allegedly rampant inflation, a perennial conservative issue designed to bolster its deficit-reducing advice. Inflation was a harrowing problem during the Carter Administration, when it skyrocketed above 15 percent. But current inflation is inordinately low, averaging 1.8 percent over the past six years. That’s 33 percent lower than its 2.7 percent rate in the previous decade.
Today deflation is a bigger worry than inflation. Whereas mild inflation is an economic stimulant, deflation is an economic killer. Lured by the prospect of cheaper future prices, buyers postpone purchases and entrepreneurs delay investments. Japan has suffered a stagnant economy through two decades of recurring deflation.
The most alarming aspect of this gross conservative error is its vast scope. It doesn’t merely contradict the truth; it reverses the truth. Belief in rampant inflation bolsters the preposterous Supply-Side economic ideology that has deluded Republicans since 1980, promoting fiscal austerity as the answer to unemployment instead of Keynesian stimulation.
Another of Stossel’s bankrupt ideas challenges the conventional wisdom on the hazards of world overpopulation. Denmark has 10 times Kenya’s population density and thus, according to Stossel, should be more culturally backward than Kenya. But population density is an idiotic criterion for judging over population. With eight-child families, Africans can never overcome their hopeless poverty. Population density in advanced nations is economically and environmentally efficient. Overpopulated African nations can’t feed their starving masses; they have placed too big a burden on their environment. And it does no good to say that IF they were wisely governed, they could support themselves. Populated by the poor and ignorant, they will continue to be destructively governed.
If Fox News and its Tea Party morons are not punished for perpetrating ignorance, we’ll never solve the nation’s and the world’s problems.
• C.W. (Bill) Griffin is a retired consulting engineer. He has lived in Ahwatukee Foothills for more than 22 years.