The BIGGIB Glossary
Ways Big Government Advocates Try to Con
"Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step towards political regeneration."
- George Orwell
News writers for the mainstream media try to portray the information they present as objective, authoritative, and relevant. Often they succeed.
But their seemingly benign statements contain various types of bias - whether deliberately or unconsciously - that advocate Big Government policies and proposals. We call them BIGGIBS (BIG Government Instances of Bias).
These techniques are found not just in politicians' rhetoric or in political commentary - where we expect to find bias. They exist in almost every major institution in society. News stories, school textbooks, teachers, professors, and think tanks usually represent a Big Government point of view. When covering history, current events, and especially government policy, their words and presentations are usually steeped in Big Government bias.
Because these institutions dominate so much of what we see and hear about politics, it is easy to subconsciously parrot a word, a phrase, or a manner of speaking that embodies Big Government bias. In doing so, we reinforce it. Big Government bias permeates our language, and thus colors our thinking, on almost every issue.
Even people who want small government allow words and phrases designed to advance Big Government to seep into their speaking. We all do it, because Big Government bias is all around us.
"If you walk in the mist, you get wet."
- Dogen, Zen Master
By being aware of these BIGGIBS - and learning to spot them - we can vaccinate ourselves against their influence. We can see how they are used to advocate and justify Big Government.
This enables us to see political issues from a small government point of view and to recast them in a small government framework - so we paint a very different picture.
The Big Six BIGGIBS:
If you learn only the Big Six BIGGIBS, you will be able to spot a large amount of Big Government bias. One, if not several, Big Six BIGGIBS can be found in almost all major media news reports and political commentary.
Big Government Hammer focuses on pro-Big Government points of view. MORE...
The Sky Is Falling is the claim - or threat - that the most popular government services will have to be cut unless the government gets more of our money. Also claimed when government spending allegedly goes down (even though in most such cases, spending is actually going up). MORE...
Omissions is the refusal to include key facts that harm the case for Big Government intervention. MORE...
Freedom Bashing is
the mainstream news media's exaggerated coverage of flaws and failures of the free marketplace - while refusing to expose the effectiveness of the free market. We call this Freedom Bashing.MORE...
Glorifying Government is the refusal to acknowledge, expose or investigate the overall harmful effects of a Big Government Program while citing anecdotes as evidence that it works. MORE...
Hatfields and McCoys involves focusing on attacks between left-wing/Democrat/liberals and right-wing/ Republican/ conservatives. This serves to magnify the alleged difference between the two while the actual difference between the policies they each advance is either trivial, indistinguishable, or even the opposite of what is claimed. MORE...
BIGGIBS specific to news coverage:
Big Government Framing
Fake Popularity Contests
Photos - Good, Bad, None
BIGGIBS Specific to Government Spending:
Budget Shell Games
Alice in Wonderland
Safe On Base
Divide and Conquer
An Ounce of Freedom for a Pound of Tyranny