Thomas Sowell on flower-power denial and self-anointed heroes who don't want the facts to get in the way of their glory days...
...For those liberals who lived through the 1960s, that was often also the springtime of their youth, increasingly treasured as a memory, as the grim realities of old age settle down upon them today. It is expecting an awful lot to expect them to consider any alternative vision of the world, especially one that shatters the beautiful picture of themselves as wise and compassionate saviors of society.
But what are the facts?
While liberals may think of the 1960s as the beginning of many "progressive" trends in American society, cold hard facts tell a very different story. The 1960s marked the end of many beneficial trends that had been going on for years -- and a complete reversal of those trends as programs, policies, and ideologies of the liberals took hold...
...Some people want to preserve historic buildings and others want to preserve forests or art. But the liberal media and intelligentsia are strenuously trying to preserve the vision of poverty and economic distress.
Why these desperate attempts to preserve poverty as a vision while it is eroding as a reality? Because it is "the poor" who give the left its moral authority and political clout. The very phrase "the poor" suggests that we are talking about some permanent group of people rather than transients in low income brackets who will be in higher income brackets in a few more years.
The poor are the very lifeblood of the left, attracting activists, support among the intelligentsia, and -- perhaps most important -- allowing the left to indulge in self-congratulation as people who "care." But, if they really cared, they would want to know what the facts are and what the actual consequences of their various nostrums are...
...The point, however, is not simply to move money around but to change behavior in a way that will result in more economic activity. Tax cuts have a long track record of doing that, resulting in rising national incomes and rising employment.
But there is no way that some people are ever going to admit that what they call "tax cuts for the rich" are tax cuts for the economy. As far as they are concerned, this is all just an excuse to "give" something to the rich, in hopes that it will "trickle down" to the lower income brackets...
...The "trickle down theory" has been a stock phrase on the left for decades and yet not one of those who denounce it can find anybody who advocated it. The tenacity with which they cling to these catchwords shows how desperately they need them, if only to safeguard their vision of the world and of themselves...
Despite the warm glow of self-satisfaction that the liberal vision confers on liberals, ugly facts keep intruding to undermine that vision. Some liberals eventually jump ship and defect to conservatism when the facts keep piling up too high to ignore.
This takes time, of course, and in the meantime there is a never-ending supply of new young people to become charmed with the liberal vision and replace those who have become disenchanted with it.
Other liberals hang on to liberal ideas to the bitter end -- especially when the end is not that bitter for them personally, when they live insulated lives in academia, the courts, foundations and other places where there is no price for liberals to pay for being wrong, no matter how disastrous the consequences for others.
Still, facts are a danger to the vision. In recent times, those on the left have increasingly sought to suppress facts that go counter to the vision...
...The vision of the left, full of envy and resentment, takes its worst toll on those at the bottom -- whether black or white -- who find in that paranoid vision an excuse for counterproductive and ultimately self-destructive attitudes and behavior.
Thomas Sowell is the liberal antidote...conservative therapy for the liberally deranged. :)