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How to tell if you're in the mainstream of American thinking

By Special Guest Columnist Craig J. Cantoni

Are you in the mainstream of American thinking? Do you have what it takes to be a member of Congress, president of the United States, reporter, pundit, K-12 teacher, college professor, or other trusted influencer or leader? Do you have the proper view of government, the economy, and other subjects?

To find out, take this simple test. Good luck!

Question 1

Business profits average about six percent of national income and keep the nation from having an economy like Cuba's. Federal, state and local governments consume about 44 percent of national income, versus only 12 percent in 1930.

Therefore, which of the following should be reduced?

a) Corporate profits
b) Government spending

If you selected "a," you're in line with mainstream thinking. Congrats! You get a free subscription to USA Today or a comic book of your choice, whichever you can read without moving your lips.

Question 2

All of the experiments with collectivism in this country, such as the communitarian communities of New Harmony and Oneida, quickly failed due to the inherent fatal flaws of central planning and the collective ownership of property. Similar experiments by nation states have resulted in tyranny, mass starvation, widespread poverty and genocide.

Therefore, what is best for the nation?

a) More collectivism
b) Less collectivism

Correct answer: "a." If this was your answer, you should think about applying for a job at The New York Times.

Question 3

Medical care and medical insurance are much more costly than they would otherwise be, due to the government virtually destroying a consumer market in healthcare over the last 66 years and shifting costs to third parties.

What should be done to make medical care/insurance more available and less expensive?

a) Nationalize all remnants of a consumer market.
b) Restore a consumer market.

Correct answer: "a." Wow, your intellect is awesome if you got this one correct. No doubt, in order to be intellectually consistent (you know what that means, right?) you want the government to nationalize the food industry and require all Americans to eat at government commissaries. Burp! Excuse me.

Question 4

The federal government is insolvent and is printing money to hide the fact. In addition, it has over $60 trillion in unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare, or over $700,000 for each American under the age of 18.

What should be done about this?

a) Give Americans more free stuff and entitlements.
b) Give Americans less free stuff and fewer entitlements.

Correct answer: "a." You should run for office if you got this one right.

Question 5

Inflation is an insidious, hidden tax. In the 137 years from 1776 to the passage of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913, inflation averaged almost zero. Since 1913, inflation has increased dramatically, especially after the gold standard was removed. In the last half-century, the dollar has lost about 90 percent of its value, and the "money" supply has increased by about 3,000 percent. Along with government housing policies, easy money was the primary cause of the latest housing bubble and subsequent collapse. Government printing presses are now running red hot to pay the cost of the bailout. High inflation will inevitably follow the current economic downturn, thus penalizing savers, who are the backbone of a healthy economy.

So, can you trust the government with your money?

a) Yes.
b) No.

Correct answer: "a."

Question 6

Fatherless families are a leading cause of poverty, school dropouts, crime, emotional problems, and bad grammar. A leading cause of fatherless families is men who walk away from their parental responsibilities and encourage the mothers of their children to "marry" the state instead of them.

Therefore, what government action would have the highest payoff in reducing poverty, school dropouts, crime, and emotional problems?

a) Increase welfare, K-12 education, child care, tutors, and psychotropic drugs.
b) Remove incentives for men to walk away and for women to marry the state.

Correct answer: "a."

Question 7

Barack Obama would get a perfect score on this test by choosing answer "a" for all of the preceding questions.

Did you vote for him?

a) Yes.
b) No.

If you answered "a" to the above and to every other question, you are solidly in the mainstream.

If you answered "b" to every question, that explains why you feel like a stranger in a strange land. It also explains why you yell at the TV, mutter at the newspaper, are seen as a crackpot and are thinking of emigrating.

Incidentally, I failed the test.

An author and columnist, Mr. Cantoni can be reached at ccan2@aol.com.

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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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