Some actually use a phrase to describe this to each other:
Fear Equals Funding
As our government has become increasingly bureaucratic, it has come to routinely create huge panics over things that were not really all that likely to happen, or not even dangerous at all.
Here is a partial list of examples:
The Missile Gap
The CIA claimed the Soviet Union had ten times as many missiles as the US, when in fact the US had ONE HUNDRED times as many as the Soviets.
Gulf of Tonkin
When a carrier near Vietnam had its own little accident, the Federal government pretended this was an attack by the Vietnamese, dragging us into the war. And yes, this counts as “funding”, because when Johnson had famously told the Joint Chiefs of Staff “you can have your war”, funding was almost certainly foremost on their minds.
In the 1970s, we were told that by 1990, the world would be locked in an ice age, because of pollution.
In 1976, we were told that Swine Flu was going to be a global pandemic. Millions of people were frightened into getting an expensive/profitable vaccination. Outside of a military base, NOBODY died from Swine Flu, but dozens died from the vaccination, causing the entire effort to be suspended.
The odds of any significant asteroid hit on the earth any time in the lives of ourselves, our grandchildren, and so on for generations, are insanely small. But bureaucratic fearmongers reap huge profits by screaming this “risk” from the rooftops.
Despite the last two consecutive years of the global mean temperature getting cooler, the profitability of claiming the earth is going to be destroyed by our exhalation is so great that the global warming myth is still being shouted from the rooftops.
In 1999, Bird Flu, like Swine Flu, was going to wipe out humanity. In reality, not a single person has died, in the US, from Bird Flu, from that moment to this one…yet the CDC and NIH continue to use it to expand their budgets.
Consultants seeking billions of dollars in money to needlessly reprogram government software to fix a minor date bug convinced the world that civilization would collapse in the year 2000
We were told SARS was incredibly deadly…yet not a single person in the US ever died of it. Even in countries with health care inferior to America’s, if you got SARS you had a 98% chance of living.
West Nile Virus
During the tiny West Nile “outbreak” in the US, accompanied by loud panic, ten times as many people died by drowning, and ONE HUNDRED times as many died from the common hospital infection, staph. Nonetheless, the CDC and NIH continued to use its “danger” in their budget requests.
Swine Flu, Redux
In 2009, people were needlessly panicked, again, about an illness that was LESS dangerous than the normal flu. Billions were wasted on immunizations and other panic, while in fact the deaths were lower than a normal flu season.
Protectionist “Safety”, a-la Mad Cow
Corrupt government officials take local bribes to ban imports based on insanely exaggerated “safety” issues: Mad Cow isn’t even known to effect humans, yet the US banned beef imports, mainly to drive up beef prices for US consumers, to profit meat companies.
Likewise, the Federal government has needlessly banned the import of:
- ALL Cantaloupes from Mexico, as if the whole country were at risk because one company had not washed theirs well enough
- All coconuts, “just in case”
- Many kinds of cane sugar imports — beet farmers are a lazy bunch who like to steal from American consumers who would prefer cane sugar over beet sugar
…and scores of other products, either temporarily or permanently.
These examples are not as obviously about money, but are fearmongering for power or some other equivalent. Money, of course, is just a form of fungible power.
Even in the unlikely event that you actually support the Iraq War, it’s clear that “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and connecting Hussein to his mortal enemies in Al Qaeda was fearmongering for gain, by the Bush administration.
Refined Sugar Doesn’t Cause Diabetes
Salt Does Not Cause High Blood Pressure
That’s right, salt is an important nutrient, you’ll die if you don’t get enough salt, but even consuming it in excess cannot cause high blood pressure. And sucrose not only does not cause diabetes, but isn’t actually proven to be more harmful to you than any other simple carbs.
Akin to this are the lies of the Drug War, starting with the infamous Reefer Madness:
…the THC in marijuana actually having a relaxant effect, almost the opposite of the movie, and going on to modern lies about the violence-causing nature of PCP (used by vets as a tranquilizer) and with lies about the addictive nature of cocaine.
Fear Equals Funding