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View Diary: UPDATED: Why Republicans Lie - Must Read from Rick Perlstein on the Conservative Con Game (178 comments)

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  •  Also see "The Spirit Level" (7+ / 0-)

    By Wilkinson and Pickett, it collects thousands of man hours of research over decades to convincingly demonstrate that developed societies do better across a whole range of quality of life issues as the levels of inequality in them decrease. Crime, drug abuse, infant mortality, longevity, mental health, teen pregnancy, educational outcomes - all of the problems in these areas improve for everyone including the people at the top as the distance between top and bottom decreases.

    To put it another way, simply 'growing the pie' is not enough, not if inequality soars. This is why the material wealth conservatives like to sneer at - cell phones and DVRs in the hands of those at the bottom - can't be taken as proof the poor are doing really well, that they shouldn't be having any problems.

    It also means that all of the problems cited above are more easily dealt with IF we focus on reducing the amount of inequality - we'll get a lot more bang for the buck for our social programs if we do that.

    They have a huge amount of hard evidence to back up their conclusions. There are multiple comparisons between different developed countries, and you can see the same things they're talking about if you compare the differences between the 50 states here in America. Less inequality = better life for everyone. A lot of material is available at this website.

    If the Democratic Party wants to start turning things around in this country, they could do worse than use this book as a bible for crafting effective policies. It has the potential to change things at a fundamental level. Instead of taking faith-based conservative talking points as a guide, we should be looking at what the actual facts are telling us. It's that critical. Conservatives are using the fiction of Ayn Rand for their guide - we could be using hard science if we only dared.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:14:28 AM PST

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    •  Using the word bible to mean a sort of (0+ / 0-)

      source of truth may very well be counterproductive here.

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 11:40:41 AM PST

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      •  Not if you mean as a source of fundamental truths (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mike101, FarWestGirl

        There are all kinds of metaphorical small "B" bibles out there.  But imagine how it would have gone over if I'd said Koran instead of bible!  ;-)

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 11:56:53 AM PST

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        •  You know what you meant. But it does seem to (0+ / 0-)

          use the established religious framing (and why even get into that territory, it's a minefield). That was the point I should have made more explicitly.

          -- We are just regular people informed on issues

          by mike101 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:23:56 PM PST

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