Glenn Beck's "Arguing With Idiots" Has an Idiotic Title, but a Lot of Truth
Beck can be very uncivil. But he speaks the truth. Is that enough reason to keep paying attention to him?
I wondered how a book entitled "Arguing with Idiots" could have any redeeming qualities. But then I came across a family member's copy over the Thanksgiving weekend, and I began to read.
I still hate the title. But the book is fabulous.
Besides seldom actually trying to prove whether something Beck says is true or not, one of the greatest misconceptions people have who hate Glenn Beck is that he is a shill for the Republican party. Beck, besides regularly stating the opposite on his radio and television programs, makes it clear in his latest book that he actually thinks Republicans are worse than Democrats.
Both parties are to blame for the situation we now find ourselves in. In fact, I think you can make a good case that the Republicans deserve your anger more than the Democrats. At least most Democrats have been fairly honest about their...agenda. Republicans have shredded our Constitution while smiling and pretending that they actually care about the principles our Founders stood for.
It has been a very long time since capitalism has been tried on a very large scale in America. What we have is more of a kind of paternal fascism. That's why Glenn Beck says that
Capitalism is not good or evil; it's just capitalism. Capitalism hasn't failed. Greed has failed. [What has] failed is "soulless capitalism," because success without compassion results in greed and excess--and we had plenty of both. But that soullessness didn't come out of nowhere, it was bred by a government that continually tries to step i and do the jobs that individual Americans should be responsible for.And once were responsible for. The most critical ingredient of capitalism is one that capitalism haters overlook--whether blindly or conveniently, I'm not sure. Capitalism must be mixed with morality for it to be successful. A government that rewards some unsuccessful companies--considered "too big to fail"--while ignoring others, is the height of capitalistic immorality.
Do you still think, as faux economist Paul Krugman does, that "increased government spending is just what the doctor ordered, and concerns about the budget deficit should be put on hold"? I didn't think so. But in case you're having second thoughts, Beck puts the theory to rest that government spending somehow increases the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by some sort of "multiplier effect":
Noted Harvard economist Robert Barro looked at federal spending and corresponding GDP growth during World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. In each case he found the "multiplier" to be exactly the same: 0.8. In other words, for every dollar our government spent, 80 cents was added to our GDP. Even worse, Barro thinks that wartime spending probably increases the multiplier...it's likely even lower when you try to spend your way out of a recession.
After all, if government spending increases GDP, why don't we just let the federal government take over everything? And why did the economy of the Soviet Union implode? (Oh, I remember...Ronald Reagan said some really mean things about it and hurt its feelings.)
So... I dare you. Ignore the title. Read the book. You may go on hating the guy (hopefully we can fix his bombastic idiosyncrasy over time), but I think you'll have a hard time disputing his book.