What Is the Truth?

Maybe it isn't as important for some voters to worry about, or even want to know the facts in this presidential campaign. That is, what are the truths behind all the accusations and allegations being hurled at both candidates? Maybe the issues are just too complex, and events too fast-moving to catch who is really riding in the speeding train of this election?

But that doesn't have to be so. We know those of the mass media are almost as buffaloed as much of the American public about the issues. Donald Trump, for instance, says he will bring many of those jobs lost to trade agreements home, and create "prosperity for all".

Yet we are already at a 4.9 percent unemployment rate and 11 million have found jobs over the last 8 years--the lowest unemployment rate in 9 years since the end of the Great Recession. Though it's true many millions have stopped looking for work--many of them white, disgruntled Trump supporters.

Hillary Clinton says she will expand social security, Medicare, and Obamacare benefits, as well as bring about tuition-free public colleges and universities, but at tremendous cost that will be covered by having the wealthiest "pay their fair share" of taxes.

This is a legitimate conservative concern. But then we have foreign and domestic intelligence agents almost unanimously warning that Putin's Russia has hacked Democratic Party emails for the benefit of presidential candidate Trump.

Actually, forget about the hacking, if some don't want to believe Trump's Russian connections. Trump was directly quoted as far back as 2007 on CNN that Russian President Vladimir Putin was doing a "great job." In 2013, Trump tweeted: "Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow - if so, will he become my new best friend?"

There has always been a thin line between truth and propaganda of any kind that seeks to push an agenda. Millions of Germans apparently believed Hitler and Goebbels hatred of Jews was based on the fact of Jews' racial inferiority, for instance.

Trumps basis for his "crooked Hillary" claims are her neglect or misuse of private email servers while a federal official. But the FBI has finally cleared her of any crime, in part because her assistants, Jake Sullivan in the State Department, and Huma Abedin, her reputed most trusted advisor and friend, were actually the ones being investigated for this misuse.

And what about those boasts by Trump that his economic policies would bring back jobs? A group of 370 economists, including eight Nobel laureates in economics, have signed a letter warning against the election of Republican nominee Donald Trump, calling him a "dangerous, destructive choice" for the country, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Signatories include economists Angus Deaton of Princeton University, who won the economics Nobel last year, and Oliver Hart of Harvard University, who was one of the two Nobel winners this year.

Why are economists so concerned with the supposedly successful billionaire? "He misinforms the electorate, degrades trust in public institutions with conspiracy theories and promotes willful delusion over engagement with reality," said the signatories, which also include Paul Romer, the new chief economist at the World Bank, and Kenneth Arrow, the 1972 Nobel winner.

This is while a separate group of 19 winners of the Nobel Prize in economics endorsed Hillary Clinton in a letter posted online late Monday.


"I don't normally engage in politics, but I decided to sign this one because I think that the destruction that Trump's campaign tactics have done to the institutions of this nation is a great moral issue," said Robert Shiller, the Yale University economist. "It isn't Republican versus Democrat. It isn't a normal political statement. It is a feeling of outrage against a demagogue."

There are other indications that the U.S. economy could enter another recession, if Donald Trump were elected. He supports House Republican Speaker Paul Ryan, whose economic plans have consistently supported trickle-down economics--dropping tax rates mainly at the top, repealing Obamacare, while privatizing social security and Medicare.

Doesn't this look like the failed policies of GW Bush that led to the Great Recession?

Harlan Green © 2016

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