When debating economics, nothing angers me more when a human mind purposely chooses to ignore the precise, specific argument at hand and pulls something unrelated to the debate, and presents it as germane.
The perfect example of this - pointing to the 50's as ideal economic times.
If you ever bring up the 1940's and the 1950's as an example of what an economy "should be," you will be guaranteed 100% or your money back, leftists will un-thinkingly knee jerk and parrot two arguments they had spoon fed to them.
1. Oh yeah, well the top income tax rate was 99.8%
2. Yeah, but the 50's were racist!
I'm not going to go into the argument about the top marginal tax rate (which so few people paid) as it's been debunked.
But I am going to address the "Yeah, but the 50's were racist."
My counter-argument is simple:
Not that I am for racism.
Not that I had no problems with Jim Crow laws.
Not that I wanted blacks intimidated from voting or lynched.
But because IT IS NOT RELEVANT TO THE TOPIC ABOUT ECONOMIC GROWTH DURING THE 50's!
During the 20 year period which most would consider the halcyon days of America (1940's-1960's) economic growth was nearly twice what it is today. Unemployment a half. Underemployment, non existent. And debt decreasing. Practically all economic measures showed the economy firing on all cylinders and everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY (blacks included) benefited from this great general economic climate.
But to take an irrelevant sociological phenomenon such as racism and use it to besmirch or debunk an economic phenomenon is intellectually dishonest and...well...the epitome of leftist.
The truth is that the economic growth during the 50's was so great, it was able to OVERCOME what negative effects of racism there were. Blacks and black families we infinitely better off based on a wide array of economic statistics during "those evil, racist, oppressive 50's" than they are today in Unicornitopia Diversityville Obama Land. Unemployment, crime, real wages, illegitimate birth, divorce, etc. And while things such as Jim Crow laws and other specific instances of truly oppressive racism existed, it wasn't until economic policies changed from that of capitalism and free markets to "The Great Society"/socialism did blacks' economic AND sociological lot start to severely deteriorate. Ironically, this meant outright racism wasn't anywhere near as damaging to the black community than "well intended" socialism.
What I want to see, though, is taking the precise same illogic the left uses when deriding the 50's and reverse apply it today.
So there was a lot more racism back in the 50's, and there's less of it today.
But back in the 50's the black community (as well as all communities) had better technology adjusted standards of living, healthier families, and the economy was growing much.
Ergo, racism is good for economic growth!
Whether the leftist is smart enough to see you merely did what they did - dishonestly substitute the sociological scourge of racism into what was an economic debate - would be left to be seen. Though my money would be on their heads spinning.