Saturday, June 6, 2009

Newsweek Versus Oprah

I plan on heading out to the store later today, and I'm hoping that it's not too late to pick up a copy of the issue of Newsweek that criticizes Oprah for her having guests on that present all sorts of questionable "health" information. I, for one, have also criticized Oprah for this as well, but for some reason, I don't seem to get the same kind of reaction that Newsweek gets. I'm thinking that it's some sort of anti-comic book-related blog bias on the part of the media.

Anyway, I haven't read the article, and I don't regularly watch Oprah, but the one thing that I do enough about to comment is the fact that she's had Jenny McCarthy on her show several times. For those of you who don't know, McCarthy is one of the prominent voices for the "vaccines cause autism" movement. Despite the fact that there's no evidence for this, and repeated studies keep showing that there is no link, McCarthy continues to make such argument-ending statements like "My science is named Evan, and he's at home. That's my science."

Oy vey! See, this is the problem with this country. People don't even have the slightest grasp as to what science is, even though it affects nearly every aspect of their daily lives. (The sheer fact that you're reading this right now proves that point.) Her "science" is her son? What the hell does that even mean? It doesn't mean anything, but it appeals to people who are more likely to respond to emotions than facts.

Here's what I think about Oprah. She's defended herself, of course, saying that she's had all sorts of guests who present all sorts of different health issues. The problem though with giving somebody like McCarthy a voice is that she's legitimizing junk science. Oprah also stated that her audience is smart enough to look into the issue and check out all the facts for themselves. Well, here's a newsflash - for many of them, that very well may be true, but some of them definitely aren't.

Oprah has every right to present junk science as being legitimate. However, if I had her influence, I wouldn't be able to look at myself in the mirror if I gave people like McCarthy a forum to spout her nonsense. It's irresponsible at best, downright evil at worst. Think I'm being over-the-top by calling it evil? Try telling me that if there's a measles outbreak (which can, you know, KILL people).


Anonymous said...

This depression is going to get a lot worse for most of us. Millions will go cold and hungry. It didn't have to be this way. Greed ruins everything. Its true. Ask any professor of economics.

"As mass production has to be accompanied by mass consumption; mass consumption, in turn, implies a distribution of wealth -- not of existing wealth, but of wealth as it is currently produced -- to provide men with buying power equal to the amount of goods and services offered by the nation's economic machinery. Instead of achieving that kind of distribution, a giant suction pump had by 1929-30 drawn into a few hands an increasing portion of currently produced wealth. This served them as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied to themselves the kind of effective demand for their products that would justify a reinvestment of their capital accumulations in new plants. In consequence, as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit ran out, the game stopped."

Marriner Eccles, FDR's Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank - 1959

In other words, the first Great Depression was caused by greed. The rich couldn't settle for reasonable pay. They had to have more and more and more. That caused a giant shift in buying power from the majority to the rich. When the majority lost their buying power, they lost their ability to support the economy. Einstein said basically the same thing in 1949.

Its even worse now. Ordinary people havn't only lost their relative buying power. They have also lost their savings, home values, pensions, and benefits. Meanwhile, the rich have become super incredibly rich. The richest 500 Americans are worth about 2 trillion dollars. More than the bottom 40% of American housholds combined. The richest 1 percent are worth about 18 trillion dollars. More than the bottom 98% of American households combined. Thats just insane. I don't care how much work for humanity the rich claim to do. Its nothing but a cover for their own greed. We don't need anymore rich people to create jobs or make donations for charity. We need them to get reasonable about how much money and assets they keep for themselves.

Don't believe their excuse about paying more income taxes. They don't pay enough. For every tax the rich pay, they get an obscene profit, bailout, contract, or kickback from our government to cover it. We had a progressive tax system that worked for over 40 years. It prevented too much wealth from being concentrated. In 1976, the middle 80% owned about 2/3 of America's total wealth. Reagan lowered taxes for the rich. Bush lowered them again. Now, the richest 5% own about 2/3 of America's total wealth. The lower 95% own about 1/3. America's wealth has been transfered from poor to rich again. Now, we have another depression.

Don't believe it when the rich claim to be getting poorer. Property values have gone down for everyone. Thats because of the concentration of wealth and income. When the economy slows down, property values tank. So when rich people complain about lower net worth, its a trick. They still have the same buying power on average.

Too much wealth has already been taken away from the majority and concentrated into the private vaults of rich people. The same ones on TV telling us how much they want to help the world. Its a big lie. Just another way to promote their own names. Rich people don't want to help the world. They want to own it.

Now, the economy is ruined. Obama can't fix it because the rich won't let him raise their taxes. There will be no bailout for the people because the rich won't let it happen. The rich always want more. The same thing has been happening in other economies around the world. The world's rich have been getting richer. Now, we have a global recession. Its going to get a lot worse. It didn't have to be this way. Greed ruins everything.

Please copy and spread the word.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Hey, I'm not the kind of guy who minds it when a thread goes off topic, but at least the first response should have SOMETHING to do with what I wrote!

Ben said...

I subscribe to Newsweek and will send you the issue if you can't find it.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I just looked for it and no dice.

I'd really appreciate you sending it. Let's see if it goes online first though, as that'll be just as good.