Monday, March 12, 2012

Placebo Effect

The main street media are loaded with good news from the government. A recent unemployment survey suggests that 100, 000 fewer claims were filed than there were in the previous cycle. Government officials optimistically state that our economy is showing signs of incremental improvement. Politicians of all stripes praise the artificially low interest rates as a sure-fire impetus for creating investment and jobs. Our brass-laden military leaders and their civilian counter parts extol the advances of our warriors in distant lands. Homeland Security constantly reminds us that our willingness to suffer numerous indignities insure our safety as we travel domestically and abroad. There are numerous other instances of the government flooding us with happy talk to ease our fears and concerns. It is the “Placebo Effect.”

“Placebo” derives from Latin and means “I shall please.” The most common usage of the term is in the medical field….particularly research medicine. It is a simulated or powerless treatment that is intended to deceive the recipient. The “Placebo Effect” occurs when the condition of the recipient appears to improve despite the ineffectiveness of the fake treatment. With many government reports we become the recipients of a placebo treatment. The results they claim and the effectiveness they boast about are artificial ….unreal ….fake ….misleading. Their aim is to feed us the bogus information and hope that we feel better after ingesting it. They believe that they can get away with this strategy because we have proven over and over that we will swallow anything.

Examine the history of our conflict in Viet Nam. It should have caused alarm bells to ring as we moved forward. Weekly ‘kill reports” and bogus enemy body counts were the standard fare of Defense Department reports emanating from the Southeast Asian conflict. For the most part the press took the numbers from General Westmoreland and others at face value until the later stages of the war when suspicions were aroused. In instance after instance our governments have fed us false information to keep our concerns at bay. Sometimes, though, they would revise the figures at a later date, but the new information would be reported in the bowels of the paper and rarely on the audio/video news services. The first news item would be prominently brought forth and heralded while the starker less desirable “adjustment” would go relatively unnoticed.

For years our political leaders have assumed that they could provide us   with placebos when we noticed that the nation was ill. For many years most of us swallowed the powerless pills and assumed that life would be grander. Yet when we encountered the cold hard realities, we discovered that the remedies proposed by the politicians were fake and worthless. Every attempt by them to correct our dire situation exacerbated the problems, and they continued to mislead and deflect us. They have played us for fools, and we have generally complied. I’m not certain if the bulk of government misinformation occurs because they are incapable of collecting, tabulating and reconciling the data correctly, or if they seek to intentionally deceive us. Either reason is unacceptable. Both scenarios prove that our government superstructure, at all levels, is too large and uncontrollable.

There are times when governments force feed us negative placebos….especially school districts and local governments. They scream like banshees about the devastating consequences of our failing to pass a levy or approve a tax increase. We know they exaggerate and embellish, but we take the faux medicine and pretend as if their new financial windfall will solve the problem forever….until the next time. Until, that is, the public employee unions demand better contracts and sweeter benefit packages. The cycle for more of your tax dollars begins anew as the government rams the powerless placebo down your over-taxed throat. It has become the primary specialty of all levels of government….the placebo….the fake…the false argument….the distorted information. This monstrous government tactic has developed to the point that any statement from any level of government should initiate an immediate and massive gag reflex from the electorate. Still….too many of us gulp….and swallow it whole.

It should be clear that placebos and the “placebo effect” can be more dangerous that the diseases that triggered their implementation. Our false sense of resolution only leads to a further ravaging by the disease because the remedy was faulty. If government presents a realistic and truthful assessment, we can attack the root cause and correct the matter. Governments’ insistences, however, on distortion and dissembling cause the real problems to carry on without being properly diagnosed and treated. Government incompetency and government lying lead to greater problems, more difficult remedies and a huge reservoir of distrust. By capitalizing on our unwillingness to reject the placebos, government power and control continue to grow exponentially. In addition, once they have observed that we willingly or compliantly accept the placebo in lieu of the cure, they will continue providing the falsehoods, the artificial and the unreal justifications for their unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional actions. And…we swallow them. It is past time for patriots to join the expectoration brigade. Congressman Joe Wilson dared to utter “You lie” to the President. We should be brazen enough to proclaim “You lie” to any representative of government who bears placebos for us to consume.



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