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Monday, September 20, 2010

Jobs or Entitlements, But Not Both

Back when Barack Obama was weighing down a bench Sundays at UCC, the very Reverend Jeremiah "God Damn America" Wright, was denouncing "middle-classness". Wright himself had skipped over the dreaded "middle-classness" all the way up to "upper-classness" by way of a successful father and a gullible congregation who were willing to build him a1.6 million dollar mansion. With a lifestyle like that, who needs "Middle-Classness" anyway, except the middle class?

Barack Obama, currently residing in a house worth a good deal more than a mere seven figures, certainly doesn't need it. But some of his supporters do. At the usually carefully screened town halls, one of his supporters expressed her disappointment by saying that she thought she was past "the hot dog and beans of our lives". But when you have an administration that chooses entitlements over jobs, hot dogs and beans all that remain for anything who isn't signing the welfare checks.

You can have a lot of jobs and some entitlements, or you can have a lot of entitlements, and only a handful of jobs, most of which will consist of distributing the entitlements. But you cannot have a lot of entitlements and a lot of jobs at the same time. Just like you can't have a lot of holes and a lot of water in a cup.

Liberals like to pretend that the American economy is the way it is, because a lot of big corporations monopolize everything, and if all the workers got together, the system would become magically fairer. But systems are not unfair, because there are corporations. Systems are unfair because people are unfair. Replace CEO's with Czars and managers with commissioners, and you have a system that is still unfair, but without even the remedy of being able to quit.

The free market provides a means of advancement into the middle class for the lower class, and into the upper class for the middle class. Wealth redistribution on the other hand chops up the ladder, and strands 90 percent of the population on the ground floor, while the other 10 percent toss down food and basic necessities to them, while what's left of the middle class now exists solely to manage the lives of everyone on the ground floor, convince them to get their shots, take training courses for jobs that don't exist, and navigates them through the labyrinthine bureaucracy of the social services system.

Take away the free market and you also take away the only system with a proven track record of helping the working class overcome social barriers and live a comfortable lifestyle. It was a growing economy, not a revolution, that ended the hegemony of the English aristocracy. It was that same economy which fueled anger by American merchants and farmers over exploitation and taxation and brought on the American Revolution. Compare the results to the French and Russian revolutions, which brought forth only blood, slaughter and tyranny.

The best rhetorical weapon that the demagogues of the left wields against the free market is that it is not magic, its results are not instantaneous. It is not perfect, it channels the flaws of human beings, rather than offering an immediate utopia where everyone is treated fairly and has everything they want, as soon as the enemies of the people get sent up north. It is easy enough to rant about the capitalist robber barons, Wall Street, speculators, profiteers and every other ghost and specter of greed summoned forth to be exorcised by the voodoo priests of socialism. But while the voodoo priests may exorcise the speculators and the capitalists, they can't exorcise human greed, rather they let it possess them. And the system that they oversee turns out to be far worse, than the one they fought against.

And now the American people are waking up to realize that the Hope and Change (Socialism and Wealth Redistribution Goes Hallmark) leaves them with the same choice. A revolution of radicals with a program to destroy the American Middle Class in order to finance a social revolution.

Since taking office, Obama has rolled out more massive projects than a Soviet Five Year Plan, with just as much success. Bailouts, takeovers, cash for clunkers, green energy, all of it adding up to nothing except more debt. The same things that a child could have learned from watching the decline and fall of the Soviet Union were absolutely lost on Chicago's most brilliant son. But Chicago's most brilliant son had nothing invested in promoting "middle-classness", like his mentor what he wanted was to get the poor suckers to redistribute some of that wealth his way and buy him a "house".

Obama invested in entitlements, not jobs, because the bottom line of government is to keep the money flowing to it. Entitlements accomplish that goal. Jobs do not. Once people have jobs, you have to start tearing the money away from them, and they have a way of putting up a struggle because of their foolish insistence that the money they earned and worked for is "theirs". And that kind of selfishness does not erect 1.6 million dollar mansions. No sir, it does not.

Entitlements can serve as a social safety net, when the government is flush with cash. But the cash is flushed by the people who are earning it. It does not come from the entitlements economy operating out of Washington D.C. and local state capitals. It comes from the free market. You can try to lock down the free market with union jobs, but the companies will leave. You can use those taxes to create more government jobs, but who's going to pay for those jobs? Besides the People's Republic of China, that is.

And what entitlements give you is the "hot dogs and beans" lifestyle. The cut rate medical care from doctors who are overworked, hate their jobs and hate you. And of course a chance to fill out more paperwork than a crossword puzzle addict. There's no way up the ladder, except to become one of the success stories who goes from collecting government checks to distributing them, in between attending supportive rallies for whoever is currently running the free market economy into the ground, in order to boost the entitlements economy. And that is not the American Dream. It's not even the Kenyan Dream. It's the dream of very rich men who think that everyone else should just divide up the pot to make the system work. Which is another way of saying, people who want to chop up the ladder so no one else can climb up it.

At a conference, Bill Gates mourned that people weren't willing to die 3 months earlier, in order to keep public school teachers employed. But why draw the line at only 3 months, NHS certainly hasn't. Think of how much you could save by not treating terminally ill patients at all. And what about babies born with birth defects. And the mentally retarded. Just imagine how many more union employees could featherbed to their heart's content, if only we killed every mentally retarded baby at birth. Forget eugenics in the name of genetic superiority, when we can have eugenics in the name of public sector unions. Because when there are no jobs someone has to pay, even if they're struggling for breath on a ventilator at the time.

But Socialism calls for these kinds of tough choices. If J.D. Rockefeller had stomped around hospital wards looking for patients to pull the plug on so he could hire ten more coal miners, there would be a movie about it. And you just know it would win a heap of Oscars. But when Bill Gates does it to make sure that New York City school teachers on permanent suspension for sexually harassing students still get their paycheck, even if we have to stuff a pillow over granny's face, it's downright noble.

Killing people for capitalism is evil, killing people for socialism is idealistic. Capitalism gets There Will Be Blood. Socialism gets The Motorcycle Diaries. But for all his faults, the old robber barons did a lot more to help people, than the socialists with all their red flags and their red hands did. And paradoxically, without the Rockefeller Foundation, plenty of graduates with a Masters in Philosophy and a Minor in Student Radicalism would never have gotten the chance to carve up the American educational system into a sham of a farce that mainly teaches how awful capitalism is.

Capitalism helped fund the worldview of people who believe that jobs are created by governments, rather than by employers who hire workers. And now capitalism is being destroyed by a government that thinks it can put the country deep into debt in order to create jobs, at a cost of some 50 million per job. But think of the overhead, the unions, the paperwork and all the committees who have to be paid, and all the bottled water they have to drink while meeting with the unions while looking at paperwork in order to decide how to create those jobs. And that's where the money really goes, to that top 10 percent who decide how to help that lower 90 percent get off unemployment. And then when they create jobs for a 100 people, while destroying a 10,000 other jobs, they expect applause. From the people standing around hoping to be one of the lucky 100, when they know they're more likely to be one of the unlucky 10,000.

Forget the fall of the Soviet Union, we could have taken a lesson from the EU, whose budget vanishes into unimaginable realms where it is never seen again. There are agricultural subsidies which compromise 40 percent of the EU budget that go to fund more vineyards than exist in a given country, or anywhere on earth. After spending billions subsidizing the furious wine growers of France, the EU will now improve things by instead allocating the money to "sustainable agriculture" and "biodiversity farming", which is a lot like pouring a bucket of money into a cesspool instead of a hole in the ground. The money is gone either way, but this way it goes to more interesting places.

But the only winner in the money throwing contest between Obama and the EU is China, and even that depends on the US repairing its economy, instead of going under, and taking much of China's own imaginary wealth and fortunes with it. The good news is that compared to the global catastrophe being trotted out for us, the worst deeds of Wall Street, and even a Bernie Madoff look like shoeshine boys pinching nickels. They may have bankrupted banks, but our leaders will bankrupt entire countries. We got the government into the banking business to protect us from Wall Street speculators, but who is going to protect us from Washington D.C. speculators, who think that once you go past 12 figures, you're dealing with strictly imaginary numbers.

The only note that Democrats seem to be able to play on the gilded flute of Hope and Change, is a promise to take away job creating powers from those rich people who run companies, and give it to those rich people who run countries. How the latter plan to create jobs is usually a mystery that involves a lot of paperwork, a lot of hand-waving and something distracting about creating sustainable biodiversity for the environment, as if job-seekers were looking to become a new species of tree frog.

And of course a lot of spending. Spending money that comes from jobs that don't exist, in the hope that when the jobs do exist, the people with those jobs will be able to pay back China. And if they can't, we can always borrow more to subsidize more social benefits for them. And that economic plan is a formula for the "the hot dog and beans" lifestyle.

True to form, liberal critics quickly rebounded against the woman who questioned Obama, demanding to know why she had two children in private school. Let her put her children in public school, where they can be taught how to text during classes and survive the hallways, drop her private health insurance for high class government health care, they suggest. Which is a roundabout way of saying, let her commit to "the hot dog and beans" lifestyle of government entitlements. Forget economic recovery, and embrace a Venezuelan hipster lifestyle of ration cards, bicycling to work and selling things on the black market.

And so now even those Americans who voted for Obama are waking up to realize that the only thing the government can offer them is that glamorous "hot dog and beans" lifestyle. Because you can have jobs or entitlements, but you can't have a whole lot of both at the same time.

2 comments:

Paul said...

"Take away the free market and you also take away the only system with a proven track record of helping the working class overcome social barriers and live a comfortable lifestyle. It was a growing economy, not a revolution, that ended the hegemony of the English aristocracy. It was that same economy which fueled anger by American merchants and farmers over exploitation and taxation and brought on the American Revolution. Compare the results to the French and Russian revolutions, which brought forth only blood, slaughter and tyranny."

Oh, that's not quite right at all. The most important difference between the French, Russian and American Revolution was the distance between the revolutionary public and the authorities they were revolting against. And so also was the economy independent. The wealth that the colonial authorities expected from the colonists was hard to get a hold of. It was based on middle class labor and personal property, a notion that was not entirely well established in England, France or Russia. Without a legal system founded on the values advanced in the American Revolution, personal property had no secure basis. "Taxation without representation is tyranny." "Only two things in life are certain, death and taxes." Without a revolution, the colonies were the property of the crown and so also in France and Russia, personal property, as a basis of capitalism were out of reach and not respected.

If the American Revolution had spread to it's mother country, would it have been bloodless? It certainly wasn't bloodless in the colonies and, in fact, held much in principle with the revolution in France. In those days people called each other "citizen" in much the same way that that communists later called each other "comrade".

Capitalism in the US today is to be respected only to the extent that capitalists respect personal property. Everyone is entitled to benefit from the fruits of their labor and when they don't, capitalists are not in a position to complain when they are induced to cough up for "entitlements". But capitalists are not obliged to uphold capitalism on principle and so welfare does indeed become an "entitlement", but not to citizens, only to somebody -- anybody -- else, even if you have to ship them here from somewhere else.

Lemon said...

By the end of his term Obama and gang will have cleaned out America and lined their own pockets with big bucks.
We won't recover from this easily.
America has lost its mind.

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