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April 22, 2011

Spoiled Rotten

Affluence, Anxiety, and Social Decay in America
Brian Goff & Arthur Fleisher III - ISBN - 9780813397573

This pair of dedicated rationalists take on the prevailing "leftist" attitudes and statements that there have been no material improvements in the U.S. since the 70's (that's Jimmy Carter times, folks, for those not keeping track.) The insistence that personal incomes have stagnated, and that the middle and lower classes have "suffered" because of the advance of the wealthy is, for the most part, balderdash; and they set out to prove it with data.

The left isn't so much about facts; they don't want to debate outcomes or data; they just want to "feel better" about what they are doing and be "more moral" about the whole thing. Social justice, don't-cha-no? It's more correctly about "perceptions," or relating to the "dynamic" of the purported situation which matters and sets them apart from the documentable reality.

All of that said, this is neither a "rightist screed" nor a "hatchet job" on the left. It is a straightforward explication of a host of interrelated data which supports their contentions; amongst them that the "seeming imbalance between impressive gains in material wealth and widespread discontent is not a paradox but an irony--the same increases in economic well-being that have made American lives so comfortable in many ways have simultaneously helped to foment some of society's most dangerous dilemmas."

One desperately needs to avoid conclusions without precise interpretation of accurate data. What we commonly experience is politically colored--even twisted--information which is either incorrect or incorrectly interpreted (or reported) to satisfy the agendas of people with specific goals and a definitive rationale for representing what they do, as they do. Beware. Politically both sides are capable of distortion, but in the matter in question, it is the left which distorts.

Posted by Curmudgeon at April 22, 2011 1:00 PM