American Elephants

The Most Divisive President in History Gave a Speech About Fairness! by The Elephant's Child

Obama went to Osawatomie, Kansas today and gave a speech, pretending to be Teddy Roosevelt. Former president Theodore Roosevelt was well received in Osawatomie, but he managed to offend the rest of the country. President Obama went for a very long speech, just as Roosevelt did — Obama droned on for a solid hour.

A number of writers have suggested that Mr. Obama has a fantasy of his own greatness running in his head that encourages him to exaggerate and see things in rosy tones. He is ill-informed about history, and doesn’t bother with accurate statistics. In other words, they don’t think he really knows that he is lying, he just doesn’t know any better.  Others are not so kind. They believe that he is deliberately lying to fool the public into accepting his stories.  Mr. Obama has previously compared himself to Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and now Teddy Roosevelt.

“Hope and Change” has been replaced with the equally vacuous  “fairness”  Obama believes that people should get a fair shot; pay their fair share; have a fair chance; restore fairness;have rules that are fair and honest and open; the height of unfairness; based on fair play, a fair shot and a fair share. He really wants you to understand that the evil Republicans aren’t fair, and Democrats are. Do remember what your mother or grandmother said when you whined, as a little kid, that something or other wasn’t fair. They instructed you gently that life isn’t fair.  That remains true.

His general theme —beyond the fair bit — was that Wall Street, the banks, the millionaires and billionaires, the corporations (echoes of the Occupy movement?) have mistreated  you. They have not been fair. Now your opportunity to be in the Middle Class is over, all the jobs are going overseas. Corporations and banks didn’t have enough regulation to keep them from abusing you poor defenseless people. Hard work doesn’t pay off. The millionaires and billionaires are growing ever richer while  you descend into poverty.

Lots of talk about fairness, and then a lot of absolute garbage talk to convince you that you should be deeply envious of anyone who has more money, and understand that Obama will make everything fair for you — if you just trust him, and reelect him. China, with whom we supposedly must compete, has a failing solar panel business, because nobody wants solar shingles any more. Their high-speed train that Obama envies has been a financial disaster since few Chinese can afford to ride it and the cost overruns were spectacular.  The vast majority of Chinese live on less than $3 a day, and the government just shut down a brand new empty city that they had built for lack of business or interest. But let’s not be distracted by piddly facts.  It’s all about fairness.

But, Osawatomie, this is not just another political debate. This is the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what’s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement.

Under all the fairness talk, he offered the same old snake-oil: wind turbines, solar arrays, high-tech batteries, compete with China, infrastructure, everybody go to college, worst economy since the Great Depression, gridlock in Washington. There is not a single new idea. He has not learned anything at all.,  He does not change his mind.   The Infrastructure turned out to be not shovel ready, the wind turbines don’t exist without continuing taxpayer subsidy, nor do the solar arrays.  There is a worldwide glut of high-tech batteries and no one is buying enough electric cars to use up the batteries.

Obama apparently never grasped what was happening in the 1980s when Ronald Reagan’s tax-cutting, free-market  policies unleashed an economic powerhouse that drove two decades of growth, record levels of employment and improved prosperity for everyone.

Obama wants his nominee to the new Consumer Protection Bureau  — the last thing we need is another government bureau to regulate our lives — confirmed at once, so the bureau can start making consumer things fair for you. He wants his jobs bill passed, though even the Democrats turned up their noses at that one.

When Democrats claim they want more taxes to pay down the deficit, they never pay it down. They use the new revenue to spend on other things they want. It was a mean-spirited, class-envy speech of interminable length. If you didn’t come out of the speech with a good dose of real hate for “the rich” than Obama failed in his intent. It’s going to be a vicious campaign. Obama has nothing to campaign on except to drum up hatred and division. Sad.

Class Warfare, Self-Reliance, Envy and The Benefits of Income Inequality by The Elephant's Child

President Obama’s suggestion that if he loses the 2012 election “it might herald a painful era of self-reliance in America,” is still bothering me.  Self-reliant people are those we call — adults. And how interesting that he would come up with that as he praises the Occupy people, proposes to reduce the payments on student loans (by an impressive $10 a month), and in every way suggests that Americans are children who must be cared for.

This is why Liberals promote class war. Hate and envy for “the rich;” the Occupy people separate themselves into the 99% and the 1%.  The 1% are the rich — who deprive the 99% rest of the country — of what? Their money? Their possessions? Their influence?

Well, excuse me. I don’t care to be grouped in any 99% with the economically illiterate freeloaders drumming and chanting in squalor.  They do not represent 99% of anything. There are around 330 million people in the United States.  If you had an Occupy protest in two cities in each state, you would have to have 33,000 deadbeat occupiers at each protest to equal 1% of the 330 million people in the country.  They are just the other not quite 1%.  They have an exaggerated idea of their own importance, but tourists do come to look at the squalor.

Their motivating ideas seem to be their own student loans, or their unemployed state, or just general lethargy. In general the motivation seems to be the idea of increasing inequality. Since the poor cannot get poorer (though this is probably false, since we have very affluent poor, as demonstrated by their iPads and iPods and laptops) if the gap between rich and poor grows, then it’s no fair— the rich must be getting richer. In this recession, the rich aren’t as rich as they used to be either.

The whole thing, however, assumes that equality would be a good thing. Why would anyone assume that? Is it unfair if the fellow who worked long hours all his life to get an advanced education, build a business, and make it grow becomes richer than the deadbeat who dropped out of high school, dabbled in drugs and petty crime and never held a job for long?

Liberals have long focused on inequality and the unfairness of it all.  They cannot get their minds around the idea that inequality might possibly be a good thing.

I am a great admirer of Richard Epstein, Professor of Law, Scholar at the Hoover Institution.  He was invited as a contrarian speaker to the PBS News Hour’s series on “Inequality in America”, making sense of economic news.  This is not a video I can embed here, but here is the link. Professor Epstein is wonderful to listen to, explains clearly why economic inequality is a good thing.  It is a marvelous video, and great fun to watch the PBS host’s head explode. (They must wish they never invited him). Poor interviewer Paul Solman is flummoxed, incredulous, unbelieving!  How would anyone say such things!  But, but.. It’s great fun, and you may want to watch it several times to catch all of Epstein’s ideas.  PBS probably never heard such ideas before.

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