CLASS WARFARE Part 1: Rich vs. Poor

Obama-Class-Warfare-Strategy

Clay Olsen | January 22, 2014

Something that we have heard constantly for many, many years and something that I guarantee we will hear much more of during this year is class warfare rhetoric. Recently, the newly elected New York mayor, Bill de Blasio, made a speech in which he stated, “We are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities… We will ask the very wealthy to pay a little more in taxes so that we can” have X, Y, and Z. He reminds me of the ignorant kid from second grade who ran on free ice cream for his class presidential campaign. It is an old speech that never actually produces results. But let us continue our investigation into this philosophy known as class warfare.

This tactic is not a new one. It has been around for much longer than any of our lifetimes. The scheme was given the spotlight by a man named Karl Marx. Marx believed that the upper class, the bourgeois as he called them, was suppressing the working class, the proletariat. In order for the proletariat to regain ownership of his livelihood, he must join his fellow man and overthrow the evil bourgeois class. Now this is undoubtedly a quick summary of his ideas, but that is the meat of it. I believe that this idea is being rammed through the minds of the American people, and I fear it will hurt our country.

A great example of the implementation of class warfare attacks is the 2012 election. Of course, you can look at any recent presidential election and see similarities, but it is easiest to view the one that is freshest in our minds. Right now, think to yourself and use one word to describe Mitt Romney based on what you heard during the campaign. Well, if you watched any news or heard any speeches you all probably thought of the same word: rich. Yes, Mitt Romney is an extremely wealthy man. And because this is what you thought of when I asked you to describe Romney, the media will give themselves a pat on the back because that was their goal, to paint Mitt Romney as a rich, old, white man. The amount of Romney’s wealth was constantly being pointed out and yet no talk of how he achieved his success.

His previous private sector career was described as a destructive one. Supposedly Romney’s job was to fire a lot of people and steal their money. Isn’t that horrible! In actuality, Romney was part of a company that would get calls for help from struggling businesses. Romney and his team would meet with the executives of the company to learn about the business. They then would advise them about what a smart plan would be to move forward and grow. Sometimes this involved saying, “If you employ all 100 of your employees, you will go bankrupt so for now, you have to let 15 of them go.” Now a fool would look at this and call Mitt the devil for causing the firing of 15 hard working Americans. Yes, some lost their jobs in these processes, but all 100 employees would have lost their jobs had not the company taken their advice. As the company grows, it can hire 20 or 30 or 50 more people. Mitt Romney did not make his money in an unethical fashion. On the contrary, he made his money by doing more for the private sector than we could hope to do. Yet he was demonized for his earnings.

A lot of this class warfare rhetoric sprung from a movement that was started in 2011 called Occupy Wall Street. The premise of the movement was to educate people about the “1 percenters.” They wanted to get people furious at the extremely wealthy people in America. Well this classy movement bled out due to rapes, drug overdoses and murders that occurred within their “camps” and now belongs to the history books. What stuck was this notion that if you are not in the top 1%, you should be angry and demand more to be squeezed from the rich and given to you. A common theme coming from the Obama campaign was that “the rich need to pay their fair share.” It was thought that the rich needed to pay more taxes. Fun fact: the top 10% pays for 70% of the income taxes in this country due to a progressive income tax system.

The liberals’ thirst to take more money is almost comparable to their fierce craving to spend us into oblivion. Democrat campaigns are relying on a certain message: “The rich guy doesn’t deserve his wealth. Vote for me so I can take it away from him and give it to you.” Soon Democratic primaries will amount to the candidates attacking each other by pointing out that one did not spend enough or that one did not tax the rich enough. Sadly, this is what politics has become. We are being taught by politicians to hate our neighbor if he has a bigger house, nicer car, or better job than us. We are being taught that that neighbor deserves to have more taken away from him. We cheer at the thought of higher taxes being implemented on those that are a step above us. Well I have a message for our politicians: we the people are not split into bourgeois and proletariat classes. We the people are a united country that doesn’t need a handful of corrupt men telling us who deserves what. There was a time in America when men aspired to be greater. And this aspiration was accompanied by hard work, not hatred.

5 Economic Terms Misused Often by Liberals

The Liberal Trifecta Photo Courtesy of liberalwhoppers.com

Danny Zeng | August 13, 2013

(A similar version of this article was first published on PolicyMic on August 12th, 2013)

The President’s recent economic speech in Knox College and the intense subsequent media interest have prompted me to explore the following often-misused economic statistics by Liberals:

1. Unemployment Rate. Whenever the official U.S. monthly unemployment rate ticks down, it becomes world news. I often receive my monthly BLS job report on Twitter: 7.4% for July. While the official rate had gone down slightly from June, and far from the 10% we saw a few years ago, this statistic is overrated and masks weaknesses in the labor market. The official government unemployment rate is an incomplete indicator of joblessness: It does not count those who have stopped looking for work, and it says nothing about net change in jobs as compared to expectation from economists — we came under expectation in July. About 4 million people gave up looking for work in July. Many jobs created were part-time, partly as result of businesses’ wariness regarding Obamacare compliance. In order to boost employment numbers and avoid political backlash, the White House recently suspended enforcement of the employer mandate in Obamacare for one year, a desperate attempt to spur job growth prior to the 2014 election, even if it means shooting themselves in the foot.

U6unemployed

The U6 unemployment rate, which is the broadest reported indicator that accounts for underemployment and those who are only “marginally attached to the workforce,” still stands at 14%. This statistic remained flat for the last 12 months. While the official unemployment rate has gone down marginally, we still have 11.5 million people without work. That should be our top focus as a country and we should not pat ourselves on the back every month when the number fluctuates slightly in either direction.

2. Median Household Income. The president said in the same speech at Knox College, “The average American earns less than what he or she did in 1999.” I scratched my head and thought maybe the president was referring to census numbers that show a reduction in median household income. If so, his statement accounts solely for income and fails to assess wealth gained during the period. The census definition of income excludes taxes and non-cash benefits. This method would peg a rich, retired couple with much wealth in financial securities as poor, as their income will be dramatically less as result of retirement. Using a more extreme example, assume the U.S. government takes all of our income and redistributes it back to us through transfers. Our median household income would be zero, despite the fact that we’ll have government transfers to sustain household consumption. Therefore, the measure does not capture financial well-being and consumption very well. Average (mean or median) American households have actually gained in after-tax income, according to the CBO graph. According to economists Bruce Meyer and James Sullivan, median income and consumption both rose by more than 50% in real terms between 1980 and 2009.

CBO Average Household Income

The President continues: “this growing inequality not just of result, inequality of opportunity — this growing inequality is not just morally wrong, it’s bad economics. Because when middle-class families have less to spend, guess what, businesses have fewer consumers.” Scott Winship of Brookings discussed the effect of inequality, growth, and opportunity back in April, saying there is scant evidence that supports the proposition that inequality hampers growth. The President here also unveils the premise of his economic worldview. He seems to believe that consumption creates demand that then creates supply. According to this logic, the economic remedy would simply constitute putting more dollars into the pockets of middle-class families. Where are these dollars coming from? Businesses themselves? Or Government? The President seems to suggest that more middle-class spending power could come from the rich (mathematically it wouldn’t make sense for it to come from the poor). If only would the rich share their slice of the pie (redistribution), then businesses will thrive. He is not talking about opportunity here; the President is talking about redistribution. How does spending more money solve the “inequality of opportunity” if not for us to have the same “opportunity” to spend more? And “spend more” necessarily implies more dollars, whose origins I’ve discussed above must come from the rich. Thus, this is a loopy argument that mistaken income for consumption, which in turn distorts economic policy. Unless, of course, one buys into the argument that redistribution constitutes wealth-creation…

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Lesson from Nixon: Heed the Great Silent Majority

By Danny Zeng | November 27th, 2012

Republicans have debated for weeks now after the election – and indeed for the last two election cycles – as to the direction of the Party. The internal strife between the so-called conservative ideologues (often people with distorted understanding of conservatism) and the moderates (or disparagingly known as RINOs, Republicans in Name Only) is threatening the thin coalition that the Party currently holds in the electorate. Social conservatives almost succeeded in nominating Rick Santorum during the nomination process (In fact, The Weekly Standard reports yesterday that Santorum has his eyes on 2016). A large swath of the Party loyalists and frankly the media have discredited and dismissed the libertarian-based Ron Paul movement in this election. The collective exasperation on the day after the election for some vocal conservatives: well, we should have elected a more conservative candidate.

However, if history were of any guide, I would urge the Party to reconsider its race-to-the-bottom inclination to out-of-touch extremism. The better strategy is to do what Nixon so ingeniously did in 1969, in invoking the “great silent majority.” In present terms, this would include those hard-working middle-class, working-class Americans who prefer to watch football on weekends with cold beer or venture into the outdoors, those who attend dinner parties during weekdays to catch up with friends on the latest gossip, those college graduates who can no longer find jobs that match their skills, and those young parents who help their children with homework and take them to sports and music practices after school  You get the drift. In short, those average Americans who do not have grand theories about politics or ideology but indeed who are simply trying to work, raise a family, attend community functions  and socialize with friends in dwindling leisure hours. Most Americans are not political ideologues; they have a life in the private sphere. As conservatives, we should respect that. Out of all people, we should be most inclined to understand that people would rather be more active in their private and local communities than the behemoth that is the federal government. Recognizing this fact means that conservatives, too, need to detach ourselves from political hubris and not so readily claim the mantle of speaking for all Americans in the public sphere.

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