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Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking LogoImagine a world where every person had complete access to the truth
AND
had sufficient education to separate it from propaganda.
A goal of this site is to provide unbiased access to the truth. This section, in particular, is devoted to helping readers recognize the truth, in the midst of all the propaganda.

Reframing the Minimum-Wage Debate

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Why “no job loss” is the wrong standard for setting the right wage floor.

David Howell, the American Prospect

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Money%20Pie.jpg September 5, 2016 | fter experiencing substantial wage gains during the shared-growth decades of the postwar era, American workers have increasingly confronted labor markets of precarious jobs that pay too little to provide a minimally decent standard of living. This reality has finally broken through politically in the movement for a $15 federal minimum wage. However, some prominent economists contend that a minimum wage high enough to provide a decent standard of living poses too high a risk of job loss.

But this fear is purely speculative; we have no reliable evidence that a $15 wage floor, phased in over four to six years, would cause declining employment opportunities for low-wage workers. Indeed, the wage threshold at which substantial employment effects are likely to occur may be considerably higher. What we do know is that a $15 wage would have big impacts on the living standards of millions of working families. The recent commitments of California and New York state to establish a $15 minimum are estimated to increase the income of more than one-third of the workers in each state. The effects on consumer demand, and consequently on other low-wage employment, will be enormous.

David Howell is a professor of economics and public policy at The New School (New York City)

Full story … 

Hillary Clinton’s Turn to McCarthyism

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  • Hillary Clinton’s campaign is engaging in over-the-top Russia-bashing and guilt-by-association tying Donald Trump to the Kremlin, a McCarthyism that previously has been used on Democrats, including Bill Clinton.
  • Related: Series | Hillary Clinton, Imperialism and the Lesser of Two Evils – Part One

Robert Parry, Consortiumnews.com

https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/josephmccarthy.jpg Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, who led the "Red Scare" hearings of the 1950s. 

 

August 9, 2016 | The irony of Hillary Clinton’s campaign impugning the patriotism of Donald Trump and others who object to a new Cold War with Russia is that President George H.W. Bush employed similar smear tactics against Bill Clinton in 1992 by suggesting that the Arkansas governor was a Kremlin mole.

Back then, Bill Clinton countered that smear by accusing the elder President Bush of stooping to tactics reminiscent of Sen. Joe McCarthy, the infamous Red-baiter from the 1950s. But today’s Democrats apparently feel little shame in whipping up an anti-Russian hysteria and then using it to discredit Trump and other Americans who won’t join this latest “group think.”

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from barnesandnoble.com).

Full story … 

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Series | Hillary Clinton, Imperialism and the Lesser of Two Evils – Part One, Nina Illingworth, ninaillingworth.com

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It’s Time to Stand Up for Truth and Intelligence

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  • It’s a sad reality that the U.S. has arrived at this point, but we are here and it is time for those who support truth, facts, and intelligence — whether they are conservatives or liberals — to work hard to protect American democracy. The November election is nothing less than a vote on the future of that democratic system.
  • Related: What Happens When Facts Don't Matter Anymore
  • Related: How American Politics Went Insane

John W. Traphagan, Huffington Post

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07/24/2016 | In a time when the American news media focused on reporting facts, rather than entertaining the public, iconic broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite made a comment about American values and education that seems even more powerful today. Averred Cronkite, “”[w]hatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”

Indeed, as “the most trusted man in America” well understood, nothing is more costly to a democratic society than ignorance. We are seeing this on a daily basis today in the U.S. Much of the violence Americans are seeing is a product of ignorance, as is much of the rhetoric accepted by supporters of the GOP.

John W. Traphagan: Professor of Religious Studies and Human Dimensions of Organizations, University of Texas, Austin

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What Happens When Facts Don't Matter Anymore, Compiled by David Culver <>, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • What happens to us if facts don’t matter anymore?
  • Facts. Who needs ‘em, right?
  • https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/2016/06/08/WEL_Rauch_Chaos_Opener_Web/1920.jpg?1465408949Part 1: Make Facts Great Again
  • Part 2: Trump Surrogate Dismisses Fact-Checking As ‘Elitist’ And ‘Out Of Touch’

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How American Politics Went Insane, Jonathan Rauch, The Atlantic

  • It happened gradually—and until the U.S. figures out how to treat the problem, it will only get worse.
  • Related: From the Archives | The cult of ignorance in the United States: Anti-intellectualism and the "dumbing down" of America

 

How American Politics Went Insane

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  • It happened gradually—and until the U.S. figures out how to treat the problem, it will only get worse.
  • Related: From the Archives | The cult of ignorance in the United States: Anti-intellectualism and the "dumbing down" of America

Jonathan Rauch, The Atlantic 

July / August, 2016 | It’s 2020, four years from now. The campaign is under way to succeed the president, who is retiring after a single wretched term. Voters are angrier than ever—at politicians, at compromisers, at the establishment. Congress and the White House seem incapable of working together on anything, even when their interests align. With lawmaking at a standstill, the president’s use of executive orders and regulatory discretion has reached a level that Congress views as dictatorial—not that Congress can do anything about it, except file lawsuits that the divided Supreme Court, its three vacancies unfilled, has been unable to resolve.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Paul%20Combs%20%7C%20American%20Electorate-%20A%20Serious%20Thinker%3F%20copy.jpg On Capitol Hill, Speaker Paul Ryan resigned after proving unable to pass a budget, or much else. The House burned through two more speakers and one “acting” speaker, a job invented following four speakerless months. The Senate, meanwhile, is tied in knots by wannabe presidents and aspiring talk-show hosts, who use the chamber as a social-media platform to build their brands by obstructing—well, everything. The Defense Department is among hundreds of agencies that have not been reauthorized, the government has shut down three times, and, yes, it finally happened: The United States briefly defaulted on the national debt, precipitating a market collapse and an economic downturn. No one wanted that outcome, but no one was able to prevent it.

Jonathan Rauch is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and National Journal and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Full story … 

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Related:

From the Archives | The cult of ignorance in the United States: Anti-intellectualism and the "dumbing down" of America, Ray Williams, Psychology Today

  • The current trend of increasing anti-intellectualism now establishing itself in politics and business leadership, and supported by a declining education system should be a cause for concern for leaders and the general population, one that needs to be addressed now.
  • Related: Donald Trump Has Given the United States a Great Gift

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