Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"The poor you will have with you always"

Thus saith the Lord, and the American Left, in the name of eradicating it, ironically, wants to make damn sure it remains so forever.

And what, exactly, do we mean by "poor" in America today?  As has often been pointed out, obesity has come to be one of its surest signs.  So, to use in this country the word "poor", as in material poverty, is an insult to genuinely poor people across the globe.  Actually, the poor of whom the Left are referring are the politically poor, that is, those who have less than others and can therby be used for and to political purpose and advantage.

That purpose is of course to discredit the legacy of this great country, along with those who want to conserve that legacy, a legacy of liberty and opportunity.  Their lastest strategem toward this end is to highlight rising income inequality.  But, as the Washington Post's Charles Lane points out, their view of it is "simplistic."  He invokes the work of an otherwise obscure economist, Arthur Okun, who while sympathetic to their goal of eliminating poverty, also understood something about the effort they seem unable, or unwilling to grasp:
Okun saw free markets as a source of unparalleled human progress — and of big gaps between rich and poor. Indeed, he argued, markets are efficient partly because they distribute economic rewards unevenly. Government should try to smooth out income stratification, but such efforts risk undermining incentives to work and invest.  
Hence the “big trade-off”: channeling income from rich to poor, Okun wrote, was like trying to carry water in a leaky bucket. He wanted to move money from rich to poor without “leaking” so much economic growth that the whole process became self-defeating.
I, for one, don't think the Left's nor the Obama Administration's view is simplistic at all.  They know exactly what they are trying to do.  Radical equality is their Great White Whale and they do not care if, like Captain Ahab, they and the country along with them sinks in the mad pursuit.

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