Robert Reich is a little man with big ideas.
The former U.S. labor secretary writes in his most recent book, Beyond Outrage, that going by averages doesn't always paint an accurate picture.
To prove his point, Reich notes that he and Shaquille O'Neal have an average height of six feet.
One of my favourite sections of the book is his list of the 10 biggest economic lies. Here they are, according to Reich (and you'll have to buy the book to find out why):
1. The rich are "job creators", so tax cuts for the rich trickle down to everyone else while higher taxes on the rich hurt the economy and slow job growth.
2. American corporations would create more jobs and spur the economy forward if their taxes were lower.
3. We'd have more jobs and a better economy if we shrank the size of government.
4. We'd have a stronger economy if we had fewer regulations.
5. The economy would improve if we cut the budget deficit right now.
6. Medicare and Medicaid have to be scaled back.
7. Our safety nets are overly generous.
8. Social security is a Ponzi scheme.
9. It's unfair that middle- and lower-income Americans have been paying a smaller share of federal income taxes and some pay no income tax at all.
10. A flat tax would be fairer.
"These ten whoppers have been repeated so often by regressives and their media outlets that many Americans have started to believe them," Reich writes. "But every one of them is a lie. Yet regressives won't debate their lies because they know they can't win if they do. That's why they typically use ad hominem accusations in place of argument."