The PJ Tatler

How Much Garbage Does Noam Chomsky Just Make Up Out of Nothing?

Where to begin with this 2-part series at The Nation? Here’s a challenge, how many made up facts are there in these three paragraphs from part 1?

Meanwhile, for the majority, real wages largely stagnated, and people were able to get by only by sharply increased workloads (far beyond Europe), unsustainable debt and repeated bubbles since the Reagan years, creating paper wealth that inevitably disappeared when they burst (and the perpetrators were bailed out by the taxpayer). In parallel, the political system has been increasingly shredded as both parties are driven deeper into corporate pockets with the escalating cost of elections, the Republicans to the level of farce, the Democrats (now largely the former “moderate Republicans”) not far behind.

A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, which has been the major source of reputable data on these developments for years, is titled Failure by Design. The phrase “by design” is accurate. Other choices were certainly possible. And as the study points out, the “failure” is class-based. There is no failure for the designers. Far from it. Rather, the policies are a failure for the large majority, the 99 percent in the imagery of the Occupy movements—and for the country, which has declined and will continue to do so under these policies.

One factor is the offshoring of manufacturing. As the solar panel example mentioned earlier illustrates, manufacturing capacity provides the basis and stimulus for innovation leading to higher stages of sophistication in production, design, and invention. That, too, is being outsourced, not a problem for the “money mandarins” who increasingly design policy, but a serious problem for working people and the middle classes, and a real disaster for the most oppressed, African-Americans, who have never escaped the legacy of slavery and its ugly aftermath, and whose meager wealth virtually disappeared after the collapse of the housing bubble in 2008, setting off the most recent financial crisis, the worst so far.

My personal favorite is Chomsky’s claim that the party led by a man steeped in the the Saul Alinsky community organizing tradition for the last 25 years is actually comprised of former “moderate Republicans.”

Also amusing: the Economic Policy Institute that Chomsky gets down on his knees to praise is funded by billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Institute. Little wonder they are such a “major source of reputable data.”

And blacks “have never escaped the legacy of slavery”?