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The Public is Clueless About the Federal Budget and It's the New York Times' Fault


The Public is Clueless About the Federal Budget and It's the New York Times' Fault

Dean Baker

Paul Krugman criticized the Trump administration for its budget, which would cut or eliminate many programs that benefit low and moderate income people.


Wonderful explanation of why the Nation is so easily swayed, by the Omission of Context in the reporting of Information.

As soon as the Media Trusts are Busted, we may have a chance at receiving the Information we need, in order to make informed decisions, but that, in addition to eliminating Intelligence Infiltration, started in the 1950s at the NYT, will take some doing.


Mr. Baker you're proceeding from the assumption that the media, the fourth estate, is supposed to inform and educate the citizens it reaches. Not so. It is there to sell stuff, and when it isn't selling stuff, it is selling ideas, ideas that the masters would like to inculcate within the masses.

Look at the wonderful communication inventions of the modern world - radio, television, the internet, smart phones - all have turned into mechanisms primarily to sell more shit. And even though PBS continues to be dumbed-down year after year, the manufacturers of consent still see it as a threat and want it abolished.


Very constructive suggestion.


Recall 1992 POTUS candidate Ross Perot's serial presentations using charts and graphs that provided more context AND facts than the media could absorb, so they just mocked him ?


You have to be able to recognize substance to be able to do something with it.
The media has some responsibility in this, there is no doubt.
Newly immigrant families often continue traditions of deep conversations around the dinner table and encourage dissent.

Second generations fatties go to McDonalds and talk shit like it can't wait till the next morning.

The virulent strain of individualism and lack of community bastardized out of the hippie freedom of the sixties and the seventies will continue to kill us.

Until the MIC start using ammo to truly do so.


As was Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka this past election cycle.

People, Planet, and Peace over Profit!

127 million Zombies chose, 'Make America Great Again' and 'Stronger Together.'

The Public is 'definitely' Clueless.'


Most journalists believe their "talent" is making a deadline or working a beat long enough to stumble onto a scoop. But as I learned too late in life, while journalists may never become literary giants, the truly gifted routinely create analogies that drive their stories home.

And wake up the citizenry.


Not sure but it almost seems like you are partially blaming hippies for our current state (as a nation)? Or are you saying that the hippie movement was bastardized? Confused. I know lots of hippies, old and young... still around, still independents politically, still smarter than most people give 'em credit for. Just sayin'.


Good article, but one quibble:

Mr. Baker writes:

"e.g. the spending on TANF comes to a bit more than $50 per person per year from every person in the country".

This is also misleading - and belies a bit of Dr. Baker's detachment from how "the other half" lives. Thanks to the impoverishment of the lower half, a lot of wage earning USAns consider even $50 (even spread out over a year) to be a lot of money. But fortunately, thanks to the still-reasonably progressive federal income tax, the bottom half of incomes pay either nothing or only a few dollars. So a far better way of reporting this statistic is what a typical median-or-lower income USAn pays, not total budget divided by taxpayers.


His point is that most hippies did not have a particularly socialist or even social-democratic ideology but instead basically were hedonistic individualist's of a narcissistic bent. Hippie men's misogyny and homophobia was very pronounced. And most today are indeed "independents" of a "libertarian" Ayn-Randite tendency rather than leftists.


You have me pegged for the most part - that is my general direction.
There are many strains of hippieism, and you are correct in picking one.
Others have actually fostered the gay community on the west coast.


Having been born in SF's Haight Ashbury District and come of age during the summer of love (can you believe it was a half century ago ?), I observed hippie evolution from a front row seat. Personally I evolved from a libertarian in the 60s to a progressive by the time Nixon left DC.

Although hippies' original values were progressive, within very few years many people latched on to the movement and the media created its own counterculture credibility gap. Robert Crumb's work provides a very accurate portrayal of the varied directions toward which people latching on to the movement evolved during the decade following the summer of love.

Hippies' retaining the original counterculture values found that they needed to disperse into smaller and geographically far flung tailored countercultures to maintain focus, including many who moved out of the US to avoid the draft, or just to escape the machine. Many of the exiles. never returned to the US even sfter President Carter granted amnesty to draft dodgers in 1977.


Even PBS ( which I really enjoy) has turned into a begathon.


If you enjoy pbs......


Wow, that is fantastic that you are from SF. I traveled there decades ago, and was absolutely so impressed with the city and the surrounding areas. I had heard that many who continued with the values had left the US or had formed smaller groups. Also, many of us who went through that time ( so glad I did) even on the East Coast morphed into careers that seemed to reflect on making a difference; although some changed and headed to other professions. Remember Jerry Reuben and his stint on Wall Street in the 1980s, and he was labeled a traitor.
The term hippie I believe was coined by the media- possibly even reflected on a newsweek cover.
In today's world anybody with long hair is called a "hippie" which is silly since some people who are backwards politically might have long hair.
In the mean time, the US like other developed nations is aging, and the needs of the society have to reflect that as well.


I do- but I find it offensive when educational shows are interrupted, and there are repeated requests for money.


"They" are just like any other older adult with the same needs - family/ friends, a way to survive etc.


Boy would we all be living in a different country had we rejected Clinton for Perot.

I wish to apologize for voting for Clinton in 1992 and his brand of politics that has helped lead us into the current situation we now find ourselves.

The 'D' label that I had adopted many years earlier blinded me to the right choice.


You're blaming "hippies?" I do not get it. Most of us were young high school and college students then- I have to say I love the music even to this day. Just watched a special on Janis! Also, an eighteen year old could not vote until 1972. I was over the age by then. In other words "hippies" did not decide on policies- their parents did.
Many families still have deep conversations- they do not have to be new immigrants, and many people in the US would not set foot in McDonald's- that is a choice. In sounds like you are stereotyping. It is true that in some cases there is more of a lack of community due to the disappearance of jobs, and wage disparity. In other words members of families often have to move far away ( or at least a couple of hours) in order to get a well paying job. This is not just in the US however.
I think what you might also be referencing is how tech can also distract and depersonalize when not used properly in its place.