The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, August 31, 2015


There an old saying among criminal defense attorneys—When your client is guilty, change the subject! Over the years, this simple strategy has been shown to work as juries lose sight of the real issues and are lead astray by misdirection.

It doesn't take an astute observer to recognize that the Democratic party (many of whose members are lawyers) have adopted the criminal defense attorney's strategy for 2016. They own the domestic and foreign policies of the past seven years. In effect, those policies are their client, and their 'client' is guilty of ineffectiveness at best and downright failure in the main. A Democratic administration has been riddled with scandal, major initiatives have not delivered on then mendacious promises that were offered for them, the economy is only now beginning to recover, the labor rate is the lowest in modern history, a Democrat president has used executive actions in violation of the spirit of the constitution if not the law itself, foreign policy is a mess (think: Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea) and the Iran "deal" will pass because too many dems are puppy dogs.

Soooo ... change the subject. That's what Bernie and Hillary are trying to do by emphasizing "income inequality" as the scourge that they will eradicate. No matter that the middle class has suffered most under this president or that the "equality" gap has widened dramatically over this democrat administration, Bernie and Hillary (and Joe Biden, if he enters the race) have the chutzpa to suggest that it's not their fault but rather that of the evil, "terrorist" GOP.

Because the democrat playbook has no good solution for improving the economy (higher taxes and increased government spending have not worked for the past seven years and will not work for the next 9), their only 'answer' is redistribution—take from the "rich" and redistribute to the "poor."

James Piereson comments:
The intellectual case for redistribution has been outlined in impressive detail in recent years by a phalanx of progressive economists, including Thomas Piketty, Joseph Stiglitz, and Paul Krugman, who have called for redistributive tax-and-spending policies to address the challenge of growing inequalities in income and wealth. Nobel Laureate Robert Solow, of the Manhattan Institute of Technology, put the matter bluntly last year in a debate with Harvard’s Gregory Mankiw, saying that he is in favor of dealing with inequality by “taking a dollar from a random rich person and giving it to a random poor person.”

Public-opinion polls over the years have consistently shown that voters overwhelmingly reject programs of redistribution in favor of policies designed to promote overall economic growth and job creation. More recent polls suggest that while voters are increasingly concerned about inequality and question the high salaries paid to executives and bankers, they nevertheless reject redistributive remedies such as higher taxes on the wealthy. While voters are worried about inequality, they are far more skeptical of the capacity of governments to do anything about it without making matters worse for everyone.

As is often the case, there is more wisdom in the public’s outlook than in the campaign speeches of Democratic presidential candidates and in the books and opinion columns of progressive economists. Leaving aside the morality of redistribution, the progressive case is based upon a significant fallacy. It assumes that the U.S. government is actually capable of redistributing income from the wealthy to the poor. For reasons of policy, tradition, and institutional design, this is not the case. Whatever one may think of inequality, redistributive fiscal policies are unlikely to do much to reduce it, a point that the voters seem instinctively to understand.
The American electorate made a egregious mistakes in judgement in 2008 and 2012, but in a way, those mistakes have taught most of us hard lessons. The US government is NOT "capable of redistributing income from the wealthy to the poor." The reason is that the elites siphon off substantial percentages of any moneys taken from those who earn income from the private sector, redistributing it not to the middle class or the poor, but to those crony capitalists who support them in their reelection bids. The Democrat elites (and to a lesser extent, the Republican's as well) need a increasing flow of tax money to solidify their power and their position.

The infuriating thing about the Dem's position is that they blatantly claim that they're the party of the poor and the middle class, yet every shred of economic date indicates that they have done virtually nothing for the poor and the middle class over the past seven years—except encouraging a feeling of victimhood and increasing dependency on bankrupt government programs.

The center piece of the Democrat strategy for 2016 will be class warfare in the guise of the "income inequality" meme. Just remember that there are other far more pressing issues that face this country. But then again, When your client is guilty, change the subject!


One of the key tenets of the income inequality crowd is an emphasis on federally mandated minimum wage rates that are out of line with the economic realities of running a business. In addition, we see  unequivocal support of unionization, even when that increases the costs of private sector businesses to the extent that profitability comes into question. Walter Russell Mead comments:
President Obama and the progressives in his Administration believe that by fighting this trend—and the NLRB ruling is intended to do exactly that—that by forcing corporations back into the old patriarchal model of a politically-defined and regulated patron-client/employer-employee relationship, they are fighting for the economic interests of poor people and the lower middle class most directly, but also indirectly and to a lesser extent for the rights of all workers. Union activists believe the same thing, passionately and sincerely.

What they don’t see is that the genie can’t be stuffed back in the bottle. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put blue Humpty Dumpty together again. Take the fast food industry, for example, an industry that virtually every economic and social policy of the contemporary progressive movement is trying to maim. From the $15-an-hour minimum wage in the industry demanded by New York to the fight against fast food on nutritional grounds by the Broccoli Police and the Nutrition Nannies, to this new NLRB ruling mandating that the employees of franchises be considered for certain regulatory purposes employees of the parent companies, the progressive movement is trying to do to McDonalds and related companies what Bill deBlasio and the taxi lobby want to do to Uber [in New York City].

The net effect of these changes will be to narrow the choices of food that poor people have, to raise the price of the food they have to buy, and to accelerate the automation of the restaurant industry, further reducing the already limited number of jobs open to people with few skills. Progressives will look on the consequences of this disaster and conclude that with urban unemployment higher and the cost of living for the poor rising, we obviously need more food stamps and rent subsidies—and so we must impose heavier taxes on the companies and industries that are still profitable in order to pay for these necessary benefits.
So ... those who visit fast food restaurants will pay more; those who work in fast food restaurants will be replaced by automation, and progressives will preen because they have struck a blow for the poor and the middle class. Only one problem—those who visit and work in fast food restaurants generally come from the poor and middle class, and they're the one who will be whipsawed by the "caring" policies of Democrats.