American Elephants


Redistribution of wealth isn’t about wealth, it’s about control. by The Elephant's Child

This audio of a Barack Obama radio interview in 2001 is startling.  Or to some, anyway.  In speaking of the Warren Court and its interpretation of the Constitution during the Civil Rights movement, Obama said:

It wasn’t that radical.  It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.  At least as it’s been interpreted and more important interpreted in the same way that, generally, the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties; says what the states can’t do to you, what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the state government must do on your behalf.

This  is false.  The federal government must provide for the common defense, a military to provide and ensure National Security.  The “essential constraints” that the Founding Fathers wrote into the Constitution was to ensure a limited government.  They knew well the dangers of a pervasive and massive federal bureaucracy that provided all things to all people.  They were interested in liberty, not government control.

Barack Obama believes that the Warren Supreme Court failed to reinterpret the Constitution to read into it what was never intended to be there: Redistribution of wealth for “political and economic justice in this society.”

Liberals fail to realize the vast movement of people through income classes in our society.  I wrote about it here. Economic mobility is one of the most important features of American society.  It is what makes our society so dynamic.  Studies have shown that if one graduates from high school, doesn’t get married or have children until they have graduated from high school, and avoids drugs, they will do fine in our country. Perhaps that is the problem that needs work.

Taking money from Peter and giving it to Paul may make you popular with Paul, but it won’t really do much good for Paul.  It will make him dependent.

People value the work of their own hands far more than they value what is given to them. We would do far better to help people to have work in which they can take pride.   Being the recipient of charity or alms is demeaning, and becomes a prison, for the charity is never enough to change one’s life.  It’s just enough to make you feel worthless.



Europe says no thanks to a “global stimulus.” by The Elephant's Child

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner headed to Europe last Thursday to lobby for a “global stimulus” from the G-20 countries, who are holding an economic summit in another two weeks.  White House economic czar Lawrence Summers called last week for a “global stimulus.” European finance ministers politely said no thank you.

European leaders have long experience in trying to spend in an attempt to boost growth.  It never worked, and eventually most people learn from experience.  European finance ministers met on Monday, and Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Junker delivered the Continental opinion: “Recent American appeals insisting that the European make an additional budgetary effort to combat the effects of the crisis were not to our liking” he said.

“Old Europe” says the Wall Street Journal “Is Right on Stimulus

The administration’s Romer-Bernstein study on the stimulus estimated by the end of of next year5, it would increase jobs by 3.6 million and GDP would grow by 3.7%.  One of the first technical studies of these projections has been released by Hoover Institution economists John Cogan and John Taylor, and German economists Tobias Cwik and Volker Wieland.  They conclude that the growth and jobs stimulus would be only one-sixth of the administration’s predictions.

But growth and stimulus are not the objects of administration expenditure. Redistributing the wealth in our society from the “wealthy and well-connected” to the bottom of the income pie is the goal; for a core belief of the left is that there is a pie, and if someone gets too big a slice everyone else will get cheated with a too-small slice.  Sigh.

A society that puts equality — in the sense of equality of outcome — ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.  The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.
Milton Friedman




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