Opinion: Sensationalist politicians who perpetuate false narratives benefit from the idea of ‘false consciousness’

Jared Poland
Oxford Stories

America, wake up.

Sensationalist politicians and egotistical TV “journalists” represent a symbiotic relationship that acts as a mirror projection of the ideas represented in the definition of — false consciousness.

I believe the income disparity that is growing due to tax policy which came in to effect in January of 2018 provides a prime example of false consciousness.

False consciousness can be defined as “the case in which an individual (or groups) willfully participate in their own oppression.” It is a Marxist idea originally coined by Friedrich Engels, a friend of Karl Marx, in a letter written in 1893.

“Ideology is a process accomplished by the so-called thinker. Consciously, it is true, but with a false consciousness. The real motive impelling him remains unknown to him. Otherwise, it simply would not be an ideological process,” said Friedrich Engels, in his 1893 letter.

Sensationalist politicians who abjure facts instead of being honest benefit from those who have developed false consciousness.

Policies such as the tax cuts imposed by President Trump, which he boasted and claimed to have caused growth as a result of his work, seem entirely false. There was not a notable break in our economy when he enacted these tax cuts, yet that’s what he claimed.

President Trump’s policy tells a much different story. Employment has grown without a loss since October 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The policies President Trump is boasting about are being supported by the effect of economic growth that began much earlier.

I am much less concerned with the “positive” economic conditions we are experiencing. I’m more concerned with the submissiveness of the American people. We were raised on the ideas of equality, compromise, teamwork and unity.

These policies, however, represent the most cynical misappropriation and deregulation of taxation we have ever seen. Our leader is a man, who operates a business that functions in approximately $1.11 billion in debt. That is troublesome to me.

According to Bob Woodward in his book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” during a conversation with Gary Cohn, the former director of the White House National Economic Council, Donald Trump explained an abnormal stance that would result in extreme hyperinflation within the United States.

“Just run the presses — print money,” President Trump said.

However, you can’t reasonably decrease a national deficit this way. The U.S. has the capability to create and remove dollars from the economy, but it would be negligent to print money to decrease debt.

“Hyperinflations are caused by extremely rapid growth in the supply of ‘paper’ money . . . In effect, inflation is a form of taxation in which the government gains at the expense of those who hold money, while it’s value is declining. Hyperinflations are very large taxation schemes.”

Someone who would consider a hyperinflation “taxation scheme” as OK, should not be deemed a fit person to make important sovereign economic decisions. To me, it is absolutely preposterous.

This president has enacted a tax policy that allows him to deliver good news to his wealthy friends at his Mar-a-Largo holiday party.

“You all just got a lot richer,” President Trump said.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 placed a small temporary tax cut that would temporarily benefit a small number of middle class people. While simultaneously, it provided massive corporations with tax cuts that dropped their taxation by 40 percent, almost halving it. Dropping from 35 to 21 percent, corporations are now able to make greater profits than ever before.

Many argue this money will trickle down, that it will reach the pockets of the American people. However, in a world of individualism and selfishness, with presidents who shamelessly commit acts of adultery, I do not trust those funds to trickle down. Instead, I see the stats that support growing income inequality.

“The first goal is to cut taxes for everyday hardworking Americans,” President Trump said in his speech on Oct. 11 at Harrisburg Air National Guard Base, Pennsylvania.

Taxes lowered is a positive in many people’s minds, but what Trump is doing is much less positive for many people that fall into tax brackets outside the top 10 percent.

The average hourly wage has a similar purchasing power that it did during 1978. However, in 2016, a Pew Research Center report found that “2016 Americans in the top 10th of the income distribution earned 8.7 times as much as Americans in the bottom 10th ($109,578 versus $12,523). In 1970, when the analysis period began, the top 1oth earned 6.9 times as much as the bottom 10th ($63,512 versus $9,212).”

In just 46 years, income inequality has almost doubled. The new policies President Trump has put in place are doing nothing to truly help the epidemic.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, “CEO compensation surged in 2017 . . . Over the last several decades, CEO pay has grown much faster than profits, the pay of the top 0.1 percent of wage earners, and the wages of college graduates. CEOs are getting more because of their power to set pay, not because they are more productive or have special talents or more education. If CEOs earned less or were taxed more, there would be no adverse impact on output or employment.”

Why then does President Trump allow for the richest 1 percent to control about 40 percent of the country’s wealth, and instead, award those families with access to more profits?

I believe he does so because he wants to let the rich be rich. He wants this disparity between classes to grow. He wants the divide of the elites and the people. He uses public relations and manipulation of the media to push his narrative and create a radically new platform for his sensationalist propaganda.

It’s ideas like this that his most radical supporters attach to. They attach to the rifts he makes, the divide he causes, and it lures them in. It allows them to believe that because they identify with him, he is doing a good job.

Fox News and other conservative media outlets allow President Trump’s tyrant rants and blatant lies to appear on their broadcast daily. A man who is so consumed with his ego, should not be flaunted as a hero or a leader when he can’t speak with truthfulness.

When he spends more time on Twitter slandering SNL than he does in his office and spreads hate and divide in contrast to unity, I feel like sometimes people forget we are the united states.

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