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Jerry Shenk


Postmodern Progressives' Disregard for Truth

by Jerry Shenk
 

Liberals hold facts subordinate to the higher "truths" of progressivism

For example, progressives insist that additional spending always improves education. But, according to available government statistics, in 2010, the U.S. spent $12,608 per student -- more than twice that spent in 1970 (inflation-adjusted). Yet the Cato Institute reported that average SAT scores have declined significantly in forty years.

The Program for International Student Assessment revealed that, academically, in 2012 America's 15-year-olds roughly tied Slovakia's, Slovakia spends half as much per student.

Alarmists assert that "global warming" makes weather events more violent. The streak will end eventually, but, last year, Florida passed its tenth consecutive season without a hurricane landfall. The 2013 and 2014 Atlantic hurricane seasons were the least active in 30 years; other than a 2011 spike, tornado activity has been about or below normal; and global temperatures haven't increased in 18 years.

In the more than 30 states which have them, liberals insist that voter ID laws suppress minority turnout. Despite left-wing charges that the laws disenfranchise minorities who lack and can't afford IDs, even states with the strictest requirements provide them for free.

In 2014, the Government Accountability Office released results of ten voter-ID studies: With voter ID laws in place, five showed the laws had no statistically significant effect on turnout, four detected a slight decrease in turnout among all ethnic groups, and one reported an increase in turnout. But, in all, the integrity of the vote was improved.

The American left would have us believe that a higher minimum wage will help the poor. The president said, "Let's give America a raise."

But the Congressional Budget Office estimated that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 would cost 500,000 jobs for the same low-wage earners liberals say increases would help.

According to economist David Neumark, only 18 percent of the higher earnings would go to people living below the poverty line. Only 4.7 percent of minimum-wage earners are adult family breadwinners working full-time — and most are eligible for welfare programs and earned-income tax credits. Neumark reports that almost 30% of the benefits would go to part-timers in families three times or more above the poverty line.

Liberals lament that women are paid 77 cents for each dollar earned by men, a number only reached by dividing the average earnings of all full-time working women by the average earnings of all full-time men, with no consideration of education, career field, personal or cultural choices.
In equivalent comparisons, the gap disappears. A 2009 Labor Department report review of more than fifty papers concluded that the "wage gap" derives almost entirely from personal gender-related choices.

Postmodern liberalism misleads and distracts by transforming genuine facts and data into storylines. "Truth" becomes narratives, sound bites and euphemisms which promote misguided notions of "social justice."

Their warped view of reality allows liberals to regard others who only disagree with them as "extreme" or "radical," themselves as superior, mainstream, empathetic and reasonable, and to overlook their own bigotry and dogmatism.


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