Wednesday, December 04, 2013


Missing the Point Entirely

Greg Sargent, about whom I know nothing other than he is at the Washington Post has a blog post today that focuses on a non-problem. He's covering another tedious speech by the President who also has no idea what is important in the real world. The title is: Inequality is ‘the defining issue of our time’

No, it's not. It is one of the least consequential facts of the real world. Here is the central paragraph:

And, crucially, Obama described the overall problem as the result of the rich pulling away from the rest. He noted that the share of the country’s wealth is increasingly going to the top while tax cuts for the wealthiest have cut into investments that benefit the rest, emphasizing that this has made it harder for poor children to escape poverty. Meanwhile middle class incomes have stagnated thanks to technological advances and declining unions. Result: The “basic bargain at the heart of our economy has frayed.”

What a crock. The rich generally have the ability and the means to earn more money. They work hard, they take calculated risks, they get things done and they make money. Duh! But the real world is not a zero sum game, that is, it is not a place where one can only gain wealth by taking it away from someone else. I buy something from someone else. He makes money. I use the product to improve my life or perhaps to make money too. If I didn't get a benefit from what I buy, I wouldn't buy it. The idea that the richer the rich get the worse everyone else is has to be one the stupidest lefty talking point out there. It is merely critical theory, lefty cant.

Tax cuts for the wealthy? Talk about failing to see the forest for the trees! The Bush tax cuts, which President Obama has seen fit to make permanent for most of us, were across the board. Everyone who paid federal income taxes got a tax cut. Why can't the left be honest about history that anyone can look up? It does them no good to say things we know are false.

The tax cuts have cut into investments (federal spending) that benefit the rest? No one is helped with waste and fraud. The reason we're in an L-shaped recovery falls solely on the current administration and the Democrat controlled Senate. The policies they have implemented have reduced job creation by the private sector. What's made it harder for poor children to rise above poverty is the lack of family support and the horrible schools the Democrats produce wherever they are in control. It is the lack of growth both in the number of jobs and the wages paid for the ones still extant that has stagnated wages for the middle class. Robots and unions have so little to do with it that even mentioning them is a waste of breath. The cause of the "fraying" of the social fabric is in part because the federal leadership has reached abysmal depths of competency.  One more paragraph.

Obama discussed the need to prioritize growth; for universal pre-K education; to raise the minimum wage; tax and trade policies that encourage companies to grow here; more investments in worker retraining; proposals to reduce the cost of going to college; and other ideas.

This is a veritable parade of the wrong things to do. Pre-school, including head start, has no effect on an individual's success in the upper grades. None. It's a complete wast of money and near the bottom of things it would be good to do.

Raising the minimum wage costs the economy jobs. It puts people out of work or it keeps the unemployed from finding a job. There is a mutually agreeable wage which the employer  will pay and the employee will work for. It is based on the skill level of the worker and the rigors of the job. Artificially raising the floor for the wages of entry level jobs by legislative fiat does not make the worker more valuable to the employer. It costs jobs. That's precisely the wrong thing to do to jump start a moribund economy.

It is also our tax and regulation policies, inter alia, which cause business to seek out more favorable wage rates overseas. The President has done not one thing to make America more hospitable to the kind of jobs he claims to want to increase (manufacturing jobs, for example) In fact, the Democrats have done the opposite. Result--stagnate to anemic growth.

We wouldn't have to "retrain" workers if we had "trained" them in the first place, during the 12 years of public education. But the product of that broken system, where more money is paid per student than in any other industrialized country of size in the world, is so lacking in common sense and valuable skills, the students cannot get jobs that pay what they could reasonably desire. Many of the federal jobs programs are total failures as well.

If you work hard at college and learn things that can actually be a help to businesses, then you may well find a career that is satisfying and lucrative. But colleges are failing to educate their students almost as much as K-12 is failing too many of its students. So making more poli sci majors, or gender studies majors, might not translate into more jobs for those college grads.

Other ideas? yeah, the ones so cool and exciting that we don't bother to mention them. Why even write that? Nothing the President discussed would lead to growth, prioritized or not. If you have no idea what the problem even is, there is very little hope you can successfully engage the problem. Income inequality is not the problem, it's not even a problem.

This is Marxism (which always fails spectacularly) and wealth envy (a mortal sin) disguised as compassion for the poor. Under Obama, the poor have indeed grown in numbers and lost economic ground but it wasn't the rich doing well that caused it.

UPDATE: I see I'm not the only person not at all concerned with this so called defining issue of our time. According to Gallup polls, only 1% of Americans think the "gap between rich and poor" is the most important issue facing the country today. But what do those idiots know? The President and syncophant Greg Sargent know better than them.


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