Thomas Sowell

This is what is called the "horse race" vision of politics, where it is a question of which political contestant wins and which one loses. The question of what the truth is -- and how this affects millions of people beyond the contestants -- gets little or no attention from many media journalists.

With the issue of price controls on prescription drugs, for example, the crucial question in terms of its effect on millions of Americans is: What are the actual consequences of price control? There are tons of information on this from both history and economics -- and all of it is ignored completely in the media.

Price controls have had disastrous effects on both the quantity and the quality of output for centuries, in all sorts of countries. Yet none of this is even mentioned when politics is presented as just a horse race between the drug companies and their critics.

The actual effect of "gun control" laws is likewise the crucial issue -- a life and death issue -- for millions of Americans. Yet the massive research on this subject might just as well never have been done, as far as media coverage is concerned, because the issue is presented as a contest between the NRA and gun control advocates.

Much research shows gun control laws to be as counterproductive as price control laws. But media people seem incapable of even mentioning such facts, even to argue over them, when journalists are fixated on the political horse race.

With neither the media nor the truth to inhibit them, Democrats have a good chance of staging a political comeback in the next election -- regardless of the cost to the fabric of American society.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate