I have a lot of friends, family, acquaintances, etc. and whenever our conversation turns political/financial I end up hearing mostly the usual (and WRONG) talking points about the deficit, spending, taxes, etc. It seems nearly everyone has been conditioned to believe some things that are just not true - like Social Security is bankrupt (it isn't and won't be for a long time), that taxes are too high (they are historically low, especially for the wealthy), but most of all that it is the deficit, deficit, deficit that is ruining us and we have to cut spending.
Well I read a lot, and one thing I have learned since the crisis is that there are many people who talk/write/pontificate on all of these matters, and that unfortunately most of them are wrong, and yes - friends, family and acquaintances you should stop listening to them!
Maybe in the future I will list all the people and media channels that are mostly wrong (that is a long list and will take a lot of time) - but now I just want to mention a few that have been right: Joe Stieglitz, Paul Krugman, and Dean Baker.
Here is a recent paragraph from Baker, dismantling yet another commenter who says we are (or will be) Greece:
"In short, the comparison with Greece is utterly baseless. People are making this comparison to advance their agenda for cutting Social Security and Medicare. It absolutely should not be taken seriously."
"It absolutely should not be taken seriously" - we all need to know this, and be able to tell people why.
And I don't want to hear about politics, left, right, center, etc. The three economists I mentioned have been right on the facts for years. They are right, as in factually correct. This isn't opinion. The people who have (and continue to be!) wrong may scream louder and get on TV more, but that only makes them even more dangerous for the rest of us. It doesn't make them right. You (friends, family, acquaintances) need to get right too. We're running out of time on this mess, and there just isn't any excuse not to know the facts.