Thursday, December 11, 2008

The 10 Big Lies About America

Michael Medved, radio talk show host, movie critic and author, was in Houston last night speaking before a sold out crowd as part of his book tour. His newest book, The 10 Big Lies About America, is in its 5th printing now after its release two weeks ago.

We attended a private reception before his talk and were pleased to meet Mr. Medved. He autographed books and we enjoyed refreshments in a comfortable setting. His talk to the audience in the auditorium of a local university was entertaining and informative. He is a good public speaker - both relaxed and engaged with the audience. He received a standing ovation as he entered the stage upon introduction and also at the end of his talk. He took questions from the audience at the end of his talk.

Medved is a historian. He graduated from Yale University with departmental honors in American history and from Yale Law School. The 10 lies covered in his new book are distortions of our country's history used as propaganda.

Two of the lies discussed in his talk were the Founders intended a secular, not Christian nation and the claims that America is in an irreversible moral decline. He debunked both with historical timeline and research data.

An interesting distortion commonly recited yet completely untrue is the claim that divorce occurs in over half of marriages. The height of divorce activity? 1981. According to research done by the Annenburg Foundation in Pennsylvania, over 80% of marriages which are first marriages and the couple are college educated succeed.

He spoke about the myth that continues on today - that the New Deal 'fixed' the Great Depression. Actually the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression. The 'great' description of the depression had to do with the length of time it spanned. The New Deal programs did not provide recovery. Certainly not effective recovery. Normal economic crisises last between one and three years. The Great Depression lasted a decade. Even the Brookings Institution, a left leaning think tank, in 1935 produced a 900 page report analysing the New Deal's programs. This report concluded that "on the whole it retarded recovery."

Maybe all those so excited about the New Deal style of programs, particularly the public works programs, being brought into the Obama administration's recession recovery plan should do a bit of reading. Government work programs will not be the answer now, either.


amarkonmywall said...

Interesting. Other than the governors office here in Illinois, I agree with the myth about moral decline- I think in general, we're not and getting stronger morally as people, through a bad economy and an election year, have been forced to more closely exam what they believe in and what they stand for. And, politics aside, I think it's good. I don't think it's clear yet how the current economic decline and the public works programs will unfold. What is clear this morning is that there isn't going to be a wholesale bailout of the auto companies and although that's going to hurt I think it's a part of that natural contraction and correction that needs to take place in an severe decline and the sooner we get on with the better. I suspect as we move along there will be less in the way of public works programs than people expected.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I'm so glad you got to attend this.

And happy that you are a Medved listener!

Beverly said...

I've always known of Michael Medved as a movie reviewer, but I've recently found him on the radio in the afternoons. He is indeed a fine man.