home  |  book  |  blogs  |   RSS  |  contact  |

Barack Obama: One-dimensional Man How The Grinch Stole Health Care

print view

Battling Inequality with the President

by Christopher Chantrill
December 10, 2013 at 12:00 am

|

IN HIS SPEECH on “economic mobility” on December 4, 2013, the president used the word “inequality” 26 times and “growth” only 9 times. So you can see where he’s coming from.

President Obama did his usual government-is-good recitation: Lincoln did land-grant colleges, Teddy Roosevelt did the eight-hour day, FDR did Social Security, LBJ did Medicare/Medicaid.

So post World War II, the “economic ground felt stable and secure for most Americans, and the future looked brighter than the past.” But “starting in the late-1970s this social compact started to unravel.”

As values of community broke down, and competitive pressure increased, businesses lobbied Washington to weaken unions and the value of the minimum wage. As a trickle-down ideology became more prominent, taxes were slashed for the wealthiest, while investments in things that make us all richer, like schools and infrastructure, were allowed to wither. And for a certain period of time, we could ignore this weakening economic foundation, in part because more families were relying on two earners as women entered the workforce. We took on more debt financed by a juiced-up housing market. But when the music stopped, and the crisis hit, millions of families were stripped of whatever cushion they had left.

One thing you can say for President Obama: he knows how to recite the liberal narrative of the story so far. But, see here, Mr. President: How do you know you are right? Because I, and a million conservatives, have a different experience of the last 40 years. Here’s my story-so-far:

“As values of community broke down from burgeoning government benefits and as overpriced union labor drove marquee industrial corporations into bankruptcy, Ronald Reagan revived the nation from stagflation with sound money, simplified taxes with lower rates, and less government regulation. While the Reagan revolution made us all richer, government employee unions hand in glove with corrupt politicians cranked government employee compensation 50 percent above private sector workers and promised unaffordable government pensions. Meanwhile education outcomes stagnated from bureaucratic bloat, and infrastructure was allowed to wither as liberals declared war on the automobile. Liberals forced banks to issue mortgages to bad credit risks, and drove a generation of students into debt. And for a certain period of time, we could ignore this weakening economic foundation. But seduced by easy credit and a juiced-up housing market, too many families used their home as an ATM so when the music stopped, and the crisis hit, millions of families were stripped of their homes, their jobs, and their dignity.

“Since the crash, during the last five years, things have gone from bad to worse. As the Fed prints money like a counterfeiter, the rich get richer and their stocks skyrocket; ordinary seniors hang onto their jobs because the low interest rates mean they can’t retire, and twentysomethings struggle to find any job. Cities are going broke and retirees are losing their government pensions. The risky redistributionist scheme called Obamacare is stripping people of their health plans, their full-time jobs, and their doctors. Crony capitalists gorge on government contracts and subsidies while liberal activists from sea to shining sea work to smother the horizontal drilling revolution in its cradle.”

We notice, Mr. President, that you are pretty free with citing this “study” or that theory in support of your agenda for more government programs. But government is force. How good is this study or that theory you cite? Good enough to justify forcing the American people under its yoke? Let’s cite the countervailing view of Richard Feynman, a fellow Nobel laureate of yours, from The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.

[W]e find that the statements of science are not what is true and what is not true, but... “It is very much more likely that so and so is true than it is not true”; or “such as such is almost certain but there is still a little bit of doubt”; or — at the other extreme — “well, we really do not know.”

In all there are 19 citations for “Doubt” in the index of Feynman’s book. Tell that to the climate scientists, Mr. President.

The difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals use their theories to justify more government — more force — and conservatives use their theories to justify less government — less force.

You tell me Mr. President. On who should we put the burden of proof? On the folks proposing more government? Or the folks proposing less government?

I have my own little theory about inequality, Mr. President. When the ruling class comes rolling into town with some new government plan for fundamental transformation, the only sure bet is that the ruling class will come out smelling like a rose, with more BMWs, more agencies, more lawyering, more lobbyists — and more inequality.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

print view

To comment on this article at American Thinker click here.

To email the author, click here.

 

 TAGS


Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican


Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State


Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


Never Trust Experts

No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, “Letter to Lord Lytton”


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


presented by Christopher Chantrill

Data Sources  •   •  Contact