The video itself is one big appeal to emotion. I've transcribed it so that I can make sure that I'm addressing the points it actually makes, rather than relying on my memory of my interpretation of the points they are trying to make.
America could learn a lot from a drug addict. Even though this countryís fourteen trillion in debt, Washington raised the debt ceiling ten times in the last ten years. Each time, itís like another hit, another spending hit. But youíre the junkies. 41 cents out of every dollar you spend is borrowed from places like China, so China is like your dealer. And your addiction and your dealer control your life. To borrow less, you need to spend less. Yeah, Washington could learn a lot from a drug addict.
First sentence: The attention grabber, and essentially a thesis. All right, let's see the support.
Second sentence: "Even though this countryís fourteen trillion in debt, Washington raised the debt ceiling ten times in the last ten years." The first problem I have with it is that it doesn't have anything to do with the first sentence, and therefore does nothing for the thesis statement. The second problem I have with it is that the average person doesn't know what that means. Most people that I know hadn't even heard the term previous to this last tussle over it. Third problem, it's not necessarily a bad thing. If you raise your own personal debt ceiling - say by having your credit card company up your credit limit - that in itself is neutral. It could be because you're drowning in debt already and you need
that increase to pay for food, or it could be because you're getting ready to invest in something like a business or a new piece of equipment, and your income will rise enough that you can pay off that debt in relatively short time. In short, this sentence is useless, and a red herring.
Third, fourth sentences: "Each time, itís like another hit, another spending hit. But youíre the junkies." Assumes we're all shopaholics, and doesn't even talk about what the spending is related to.
Fifth sentence: "41 cents out of every dollar you spend is borrowed from places like China, so China is like your dealer." Actually, 41c out of every dollar I spend comes from the same place as the other 59c - from my paycheck. And this sentence is also a blatant appeal to emotion: they could have easily said China is like your boss. In fact, it would probably have been more accurate to compare China to your employer, in this context, since apparently my pay is coming from them. Which it's not. In short, this sentence is bullshit.
Sixth sentence: "And your addiction and your dealer control your life." Again, could just as easily have said that your income and your employer control your life. If money is the be-all, end-all of what controls your life, that is. Which... it's not. More bullshit.
Seventh sentence: "To borrow less, you need to spend less." Actually, to borrow less, you need to earn more. In national terms, that means spending that money to put people back to work, so they can stop collecting unemployment and start paying taxes. It actually means putting people to work at a decent enough wage that their taxable income is high enough to qualify them for taxes, so it means not only putting people back to work but also putting people back to good
work. Which means, for the moment, spending more
Eighth sentence: "Yeah, Washington could learn a lot from a drug addict." The complete non sequitur aside, here, since when is it a good idea to take financial advice from a junkie? I'm of the opinion that they're not even trying
to make sense at this point.
Speaking of 'they', I looked up the Public Notice Research and Education Fund, just for giggles. They have a fun mission statement on their website!
Public Notice Research & Education Fund (PNREF) provides the American public with research and information about state and federal economic policy and how it affects every American. Our mission is to increase the publicís awareness and understanding of the economic issues that affect their daily lives, their communities, and their children and grandchildren.
PNREF believes an empowered American public will cause lawmakers to be better stewards of the nationís economy, and of Americansí economic freedom.
Gee, for a foundation that puts so much emphasis on research and information, they've used an awful lot of scare tactics and logical fallacies. It's almost like they're looking to scare people into a reaction.
So maybe the video is just there to generate interest in their website and foundation, right? They're hoping it'll go viral and get them more exposure. Fortunately, they have a tab on their website labeled "facts"
. So I checked it out. I'm not going to address all of the points on the fact sheet, but I'll address two "facts" that I thought were relevant to this video: Increased government spending does not appear to increase economic activity
(source cited by website
), and Large amounts of debt hurt economic development
(source cited by website
The first one is a powerpoint presentation with shoddy graphwork. Difficult to tell without the actual numbers from which they generated the graph, but their downward trendline in slide 11 appears to be the results of taking slide 8 and cutting out all the higher points and all outliers except, of course, the lower ones. Anyone who has attended a class with a grading curve knows that if you have an average and you drop the lowest number in the series, the average will rise. Take a wild guess at what happens when you have an average and you drop the highest numbers? Doesn't take a genius to figure it out. The reason the two graphs look to be similar is because the author of the powerpoint manipulated the interval on the second graph; it's in intervals of 0.2 rather than in intervals of 2.0 like the graph in slide 8 is.
Way to manipulate the data, jackasses.
The second one is a reuters article (which is already suspect, then, because it's a secondary source and therefore subject to bias) doesn't actually support the thesis. What the article actually says
is that we are approaching a point at which the GDP needs to rise or the economy will drag under the weight of debt accrued. Again, debt is only a problem if you don't make enough money to keep it under control. Upping your income controls debt. Debt by itself isn't necessarily a terrible thing.
I'm going to stop right there, because I'm actually really disgusted at this point. What a shoddy
piece of scaremongering, and what shitty
treatment of data they have there. I'm going to go out on a limb, here, and just call bullshit on the entire site.