Jesus was a progressive. The Great Depression was caused by capitalism. Government spending brings jobs and prosperity. The minimum wage helps the poor. You’ve probably heard at least one of these phrases before, perhaps from a professor or a classmate. But according to a group of economic experts, all of these statements are myths.
Lawrence Reed serves as president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), and as a former economics professor, he is aware of the many myths that are told to college students by progressive faculty. Reed recently worked on a book entitled, “Excuse Me, Professor,” a collaboration with FEE and Young America’s Foundation (YAF), which debunks 52 ideological myths that are often presented in the classroom.
Reed says the book is intended to serve as “intellectual ammunition” for students. He presented some of the key points from the book on Friday at YAF’s Road to Freedom seminar held for college students.
While not all college professors are liberal, progressive ideas generally dominate in the academic community.
“Academia is heavily dependent upon government to begin with,” Reed told Red Alert Politics. “While I wouldn’t go so far as to say they are bought and paid for, they certainly tend to have an innate bias in favor of where their bread and butter comes from.”
Reed is particularly troubled by the myth that capitalism caused the Great Depression. It has been taught and repeated so often, it still affects people’s thinking today, he said.
“A lot of people still think that the free market failed during the Depression and FDR had to come in and save us,” Reed explained. “Nothing could be further from the truth. He actually prolonged the Great Depression with his policies.”
Reed also combatted the notion that Americans should strive to achieve income equality, an issue that many politicians use to score points with voters.
“We should be equal before the law, but thereafter, we are not equal in terms of our character, of our talents, of our willingness to work, our willingness to take risks,” Reed said. “There are a million reasons we are different, so you’d have to expect a free society would be an unequal one.”
Reed argues that achieving income equality is not a desirable outcome, or even possible in our society.
“Free people are not equal, and equal people are not free,” he told students.