Re: Everything counts, in large amounts
I think this has less to do with carefully targeting the right lies, and more to do with basic psychology.
In essence, people are more inclined to agree with things that feel, or sound right to them - this is a basic bias that is present in everyone (myself included). The problem is that reality is complicated, and things that are true don't often translate into simple soundbites in the same way that outrageous lies do.
The result of this is that printing big numbers on the sides of buses and implying that large amounts of money might go to the NHS gets people's gut feelings, despite being almost entirely devoid of any factual content.
The more subtle argument about how sending lots of money to the EU in 'membership dues' actually saves the country money that would otherwise have to be spent on things like paperwork, trade tariffs, coordinating international policing etc. etc. gets sidelined, and even worse, gets negated by the loud (and easy) shouting down and name-calling from those who are prepared to come up with those 'truthy' soundbites.
The cause of this is basic human nature - we have two decision making processes; gut feeling and critical thinking. One is easy (and often wrong), and the other is hard, and needs to be taught. Those who would like to control the masses also don't really like to have them doing too much of the latter, so critical thought is discouraged (historically in a religious context, and now increasingly in schools). Those who base their decision-making on facts and evidence are maligned as 'educated elites', 'liberal lefties' and 'so called experts'.
In this country we also have a culture of underachievement (those who try hard in school are bullied for it) so when we don't work hard, and expect a cushy job, we act all surprised when someone comes in from another country and undercuts us because they have a better work ethic. The 'easy' answer here is to blame immigrants, the fact-based one is that if we applied ourselves, we would be able to out-compete them, since we don't have the disadvantage of having to move to a foreign country where we don't speak the language. Obviously, this is an over-simplification; another element to this is exploitative employers who can more easily mistreat foreign workers who may not know, or be willing to apply their legal employment rights. Again, immigrants are not to blame here, and to suggest that someone from another country is coming here to 'steal' jobs is the sort of xenophobic drivel you'd read in the Daily Heil.
Anyway, I've wandered a little off-topic. My basic point here is that good decision making skills are not innate in human nature, we have evolved to make snap decisions and to be led by consensus. Whilst these traits can be manipulated, this can also be mitigated by teaching critical thinking to our children. If we did, we might not even have to point out that people should fact-check things they read on the internet...