Deceit from the "elite"

The "elite", when arguing for a particular course of action (COA),
generally makes claims as to what the benefits of adopting that COA will be.
They should, but all too often do not,
point out what the potential down sides of that COA will or might be.
And they should offer some sort of assessment of
the probabilities of the various possible outcomes,
sort of a "risk/benefit" or "risk/reward" assessment.

But in one critical example after the other,
the promised or asserted rewards to not materialize,
while risks or problems that were not mentioned when the COA was sold to the general public materialize.

Here are several examples:
  • The selling of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
  • The selling of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.
  • The selling of Medicare in 1965.
    (Actually, in this case,
    much of the insolvency problem of this program has been caused by
    post-1965 expansion of Medicare benefits
    without proper regard to their affordability.)
  • The selling of the various post-WWII free trade agreements.

Do such sales practices qualify as "deceit"?
It depends on what the salesmen actually knew.
In the case of, say, the invasion of Iraq,
I can well believe George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice believed
the rosy scenarios they spun for the American people,
but I cannot help but believe that many others in the media and academic elites
who could and should have raised red flags about what they were advocating
did have qualms, but chose to not wave those red flags.

Here is an example of oversalesmanship, and the gruesome result.

Trading up or down
by Clyde Prestowitz
Boston Globe Op-ed, 2016-03-22


While economists argue endlessly over the impact of the trade deficit,
one incontrovertible conclusion stands out.
None of the trade agreements have eliminated it, or even reduced it, as promised,
and none of them have come close to achieving other promised benefits.

Take the 2000-01 deal to include China as a member of the World Trade Organization.
At the time, the US trade deficit with China was about $80 billion.
The US trade representative and the secretary of commerce
told Congress and the public that
getting China into the WTO would dramatically reduce that deficit
because China had more and higher barriers to US exports
than the United States had to Chinese exports.
Ergo, in the wake of a deal,
US exports to China would soar far faster than Chinese exports to America.
Well, 15 years later the US deficit with China is almost $370 billion.

Or, consider the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement of 2012.
In 2011, the US trade deficit with Korea was $13 billion.
Top US trade officials again told Congress and the public that
this deal would dramatically open the Korean market to US exports
and sharply cut the bilateral trade deficit.
But by 2015, the deficit had climbed to $28 billion
as Korean exports to America exploded,
while US exports to Korea remained about the same.
The growth in this deficit,
contrary to the forecasts of the government
and most of the leading economic think tanks,
represents the elimination of about 90,000 US jobs,
if we apply the Commerce Department’s calculation of
6,000 jobs for every billion dollars of exports or imports.


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