Friday, January 10, 2014

Intelligent Populism vs. Mindless Progressivism

With elections looming in 2014, it is about time for Barack Obama to gear up another progressive “war” against the rich, the limb loppers, the fat cats, the tonsil pullers, the “enemies” of Latinos, the jet junketers, the women haters, and those who knew neither when to stop profiting nor how the government had really built their businesses.

We shall shortly witness some of the wealthiest and most privileged of capitalist America decrying inequality and unfairness from the 18th hole in Hawaii, the Malibu gated estate, and the Beacon Hill mansion.

… Barack Obama cannot finish a sentence without lamenting unfairness; but he proves to be no Jimmy Carter in scouting out the most exclusive of golf courses, and the richest of fat cats to putt with. Elizabeth Warren talks of oppressed minorities, but then invents a pseudo-Native-American identity to get a leg up on the elite competition in order to land at Harvard.
… The wealthier and more secluded an Oprah, the most desperately she searches for evidence of bias and inequality, finally reduced to the caricature of whining about racially driven poor service over a $38,000 crocodile handbag.

The liberal elite runs the culture, from universities and entertainment to government bureaucracies and the media, but it nonetheless is predicated on loudly condemning in the abstract the very creed that they embrace in the concrete.

This is how the left sees the market: a zero-sum game. If someone makes money, he took it from everyone else. The more the rich have, the less others have. It’s as if the economy is a pie that’s already on the table, waiting to be carved. The bigger the piece the rich take, the less that’s left for everyone else. The economy is just a fight over who gets how much.
But this is absurd. Bill Gates took a huge slice of pie, but he didn’t take it from me. By starting Microsoft, he baked millions of new pies. He made the rest of the world richer, too. Entrepreneurs create things.

Freedom isn’t fair, if fair means equal. When people are free, some will be more successful than others. Some people are smarter or just luckier. Globalization and free-market capitalism multiply the effect of smarts and luck, allowing some people to get much richer than others. So what? Inequality may seem unfair, but the alternative—government-forced equality—is worse. It leaves everyone poor.

As anyone familiar with his communist background might have predicted, Obama is reacting to the failure of his presidency and his collapse in the polls by doubling down on hard left ideology. With the international situation spinning out of control thanks to the leadership vacuum he created, the debt exploding, and ObamaCare staggering toward collapse, Obama (fresh off a $4 million Hawaiian vacation) has turned his focus to income inequality.

Only among communists is it a problem that the free market sets different prices on different people’s work. Like everything inflicted by communists, Obama’s attempts to bring the incomes of welfare loafers and brain surgeons more in line with each other will make the situation worse for everyone — especially the poor that he pretends he wants to help.

The point of liberal politics is not to help the poor, but to make more people poor, so as to expand the Democrat Party’s envy-driven base. Would you rather be poor in the USA — with a car in the garage, cable TV, and AC — or poor in the Soviet Union, with no amenities other than a bottle of vodka and no hope of ever getting rich?

When is capitalism bad? When it partners with government.

 Coincidentally(?), government-subsidized and/or government-partnered capitalism is the only kind of capitalism embraced by Leftists.

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H/T to Bubba


Woodsterman (Odie) said...

Oh no! I'm guilty of being a greedy capitalist.

Scott Way said...

We gotta feel that guilt be true Amerikans!