HillBill was right when she jumped all over Obama for saying that America’s underclasses are “bitter.” In attacking him, HillBill reinforced the salient fact that there are two levels of reality in American politics: the virtual and the actual. Obama erred in shining a light on the actual reality, and Hill Bill responded by redirecting America’s attention to the virtual reality, which is the only reality that counts.
Virtual reality is the reality that is defined by statistics released by various government agencies. It is a quantified reality, tweaked and caressed by our political leaders to prove to Americans that they are prosperous and happy.
Actual reality is the day to day misery and anxiety experienced by the majority of the public.
The purpose of America’s virtual reality is to comfort and soothe and to allow our political leaders to stay put in their comfort zone of denial as they continue to raid the public treasure for earmarks and defense contracts.
For this virtual reality to work, it is crucial that the books be creatively cooked. HillBill understands this process since it was during hubby BillHill’s administration when the coup de grace was administered to whatever integrity remained in our economic reporting system. As one critic explained it, “Unemployment was redefined to eliminate five million discouraged workers and to lower the unemployment rate; methodologies were changed to reduce poverty reporting, to reduce reported CPI inflation, to inflate reported GDP growth, among others.”
Employing the pre-BillHill methodology would give us an actual unemployment rate of 12.5%. It would also give us a reality that was a little too real. What politician is willing to risk his career by telling America the truth when he would be swamped by a sea of cooked statistics proving that the truth isn’t true at all.
America is the land of prosperity and opportunity and it is crucial that the numbers be distorted to reflect this virtual reality.
But, BillHill didn’t stop with terminating discouraged workers. Another technique for determining unemployment was to survey a sampling of 60,000 households. BillHill reduced this number by eliminating 10,000 inner city households from the survey. All of a sudden, there was a significant drop in Black unemployment, and the sweet smell of prosperity wafted from America’s ghettos.
In truth, this creative book cooking has been a bipartisan effort that started with the Johnson administration’s effort to prove that we could afford both guns and butter.
It all gets down to a question of what kind of president America wants. Do we want someone like HillBill who has years of expertise in creating virtual reality, or do we want someone like Obama who will get us all upset by telling us the truth? If you’re not sure of the answer, just check the ratings for American Idol.