Michael, I think your suspicions about these economic theories are well founded.
I recommend you get the book Selling Free Enterprise by Elizabeth A. Fones-Wolf.
How the average American came to view economics is not an accident, it didn't "just happen." How Americans see things today is very much the result of ENORMOUS propaganda campaigns. For example, "At the national level, business organizations like the Advertising Council and the National Association of Manufacturers orchestrated multimillion dollar public relations campaigns that relied on newspapers, magazines, radio, and later television to reeducate the public in the principles and benefits of the American economic system." That is only part of it. There were mandatory economic education programs that companies forced workers to attend and "Busness-Industry-Education Days" where teaches were "educated" so they would "understand" the American business system.
The book has a lot of revealing information, it is worth getting. There are pictures too. One of them shows a flyer that starts with "Let's face it. Maybe the trouble with my work isn't the boss, or the folks I work with, or the way the stuff is coming through" and literally concludes that "wouldn't it be better" for you to "find yourself through faith ..... Come to Church this week"
I want to share with you my analysis of one of the center pieces of propaganda.
I remember in high school the teacher telling us that "Roosevelt tried government programs to get us out of the Great Depression but it took WWII to get us out." "want to improve the economy?" the teacher asked, "have a war" he concluded. And I remember thinking "but" it took? As if WWII wasn't a government program? The propaganda is to hide the fact that capitalism failed and hide the fact that state spending is what saved the economy (and actually what keeps it going today)
There is a lot of deception going on. This "starve the beast" talk is just talk. They don't want state spending to end, they want public money used to benefit them. There are many examples, I just happened to catch another as I was flipping through the TV channels and just happened to catch a mention of something called the "National Nanotechnology Initiative" for a few seconds on the History Channel. It said that the budget was $961 million in 2004. I thought "holy crap", yet another example that puts a lie to the "Capitalist economy" that the public is brainwashed with. "Federal funding for nanotechnology R&D has increased sixfold, from $116 million in 1997 to an estimated $961 million in 2004. The 2005 budget request that President Bush has sent to Congress calls for a total NNI budget of $982 million"