Boxer v. Fong

Max Sawicky sawicky at
Wed Oct 28 08:22:30 PST 1998

> . . .
> What does it say about American politics that the entire media finds
> proposals to massively shift the distribution of income toward the rich to
> be... boring? It's not that the corporate multinational masters of the
> media excise discussions of income distribution from articles. It's not
> that legions of paid supply-side snake-oil salesmen have brainwashed
> reporters into believing that every time you cut marginal tax rates you
> raise tax revenues.
> It's just that your average reporter finds talk about who and how much
> government policy enriches... boring.
> "The big things the federal government does are war and peace and taxing
> and spending," I said to the departing reporters. "Tax law changes and the
> shape of the budget are much more important. Senators move real money
> around, and buy real weapons. They only have a tangential effect on how
> tolerant American society is." "Of course you think tax law changes are
> important. You're an economist."
> . . .

This would be a great tonic if it were printed by something like the Columbia Journalism Review.

More directly to the question you raise, it seems possible that reporters were homing in on the issues that most looked as if they might affect the race. They were following their scent of blood in the water. In other circumstances, it is possible that attention could have just as well been focused on a nerdy tax or economic issue.

So one might conclude that the marketplace of ideas has an instability and arbitrariness resembling financial markets, themselves charged with an equally important task of a different sort. All of which properly humbles experts of any type.


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