January 24th, 2014

State of the Union Address to focus on income inequality

Of course it will; that was a foregone conclusion. The left thinks this will distract everyone from the problems the Democrats and Obama have been having. When in doubt, stir up class envy and turmoil.

Oh, and by the way, upward mobility has not declined, according to a large and important recent study. And that was reported in the NY Times, of all places; I wonder how they let that slip by? The researchers were economics professors at Harvard and Berkeley, by the way.

In recent years I’ve thought more and more about the tenth commandment, the one against coveting. As a child, I regarded it as weird. Even the word was old-fashioned: covet? What did it mean? And compared to murder and theft, it seemed so minor—not to mention impossible to fulfill, because who doesn’t sometimes envy, or covet, in his/her heart?

But the older I’ve gotten, the more I see it as central, not just in the personal but in the political sphere. Not that I’ve banished it from myself—I have not—but I’m certainly aware of the importance of the struggle against it. And politically, it is wrong to try to exploit it in the way that Obama has, although that is the leftist m.o.. Because it works, doesn’t it? “Envy” wasn’t called one of the seven deadly sins for nothing.

It’s a completely different thing to say let’s try to lift more people out of poverty; even Republicans want to do that, although they may disagree on how much poverty there is, how to define it, what its causes are, and how best to go about making an improvement. But focusing on how rich the rich are, and how wide the gap is, seems to me to be the politics of envy and covetousness.

If the rich get their money illegally, then go after their crimes. If not, concentrate on doing what you can to lift all boats. As one of my favorite guys, Churchill, said in one of my favorite (and oft-repeated) quotes:

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.

49 Responses to “State of the Union Address to focus on income inequality”

  1. Mark in Portland Says:

    Democrats – The party of Hate & Envy

  2. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “If the rich get their money illegally, then go after their crimes.”

    Ah but you see, the rich got rich by taking advantage of the poor (anyone with less than they) through participation in an inherently unfair and inescapably corrupt system known as capitalism.

    Thus no matter how the rich got rich (especially if they’re white) their gains are ill gotten, coming as they do on the backs of the downtrodden and oppressed.

    Obama will intimate, imply and deceptively state the standard communist take on the inherent evil of capitalism. But he’ll suggest socialistic policies and ‘solutions’ as cures. ‘Cures’ that always turn out to be not quite enough with ever newer propositions taking us ever closer to a de facto state of communism.

    Christie just jumped on board with his proposal that some NJ public schools start serving dinner to the kids.

    “We can’t expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders into repeatedly and gradually giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism.” – Nikita Khrushchev

  3. Ann Says:

    Any bets that he’ll reference the Pope’s recent emphasis on the economics of inequality in the State of the Union address?

  4. expat Says:

    The real problem with inequality is the number of rich people who make their money by pushing status symbols and implying that those who don’t want or posess them are an underclass. These people would probably include most of the Obamas’ circle of friends. If you eat hot dogs and baked beans, you are nothing, but if you dig wagyu beef, you might get a WH invite.

  5. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Inequality of income is a reflection of reality. Attempts to reject reality result in a more brutal reality being imposed. Reality’s inequality is absolutely necessary. Without the inequality of income there is no private pool of investment wealth to fund entrepreneurial growth. Without the ‘inequality’ of talent, there would be no genius and no civilization. Without the inequality of individual beneficial mutation, there would be no evolution and life would never have evolved past the amoeba stage. It is irony (and obtuseness) taken to the level of ancient Greek drama, that the left, the foremost champions of evolution fail to appreciate that without inequality, the world they seek ‘to perfect’ would not exist.

  6. southpaw Says:

    The fact that using envy is so effective says as much about the vast number of people who respond to it, as it does about the people who use it as a tool.
    Maybe it’s no coincidence the left works so hard to remove religious influence from our society; the less religious influence, the less mainstream the concept of sin is.
    Democrats have taken the concept of envy to another level – revenge and theft are the end game. If you don’t have what someone else has, the next step is to punish those who have it and take it from them. Envy is institutionalized and legitimizes the confiscation of other people’s property in the name of the greater good. So the left turns the sins of envy and theft into virtues, and the sinners can all feel good about themselves in the process.
    One would think that there’s enough good in most people to reject it on some level, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  7. cornflour Says:

    The paper on upward mobility is attracting a lot of attention among economists, and is worth reading. The URL for the full paper is http://obs.rc.fas.harvard.edu/chetty/mobility_geo.pdf

    The authors’ empirical research supporting the following conclusion is welcome, although unsurprising:

    “[T]he strongest predictors of upward mobility are measures of family structure such as the fraction of single parents in the area. As with race, parents’ marital status does not matter
    purely through its e [ff]ects at the individual level. Children of married parents also have higher rates of upward mobility if they live in communities with fewer single parents.” (page 4)

  8. T Says:

    I have for years stated that I refuse to be a registered Democrat precisely because I do not envy those on the economic ladder above me.

    The dirty little secret with economic envy is that, while very few people think of themselves as “rich,” there’s always someone below you on the economic ladder looking up at you as though it’s you who are the rich one.

    That’s why Progressives contort themselves to avoid defining what “rich” is. Once they do that, not only do they reveal themselves to be “rich,” but you realize that they mean you, too, and it sudenly becomes obvious that the wealth they want to redistribute is yours!

  9. Ray Says:

    The seven deadly sins used to be private vices but the Democrats are trying to turn them into public virtues.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadly_sins

  10. Lizzy Says:

    “Income Equality” is one of those issues that is a gift that keeps giving; there will never not be income equality (short of a n. Korea approach). It’s a classic Community Organizer concern, and Obama has perfected applying his Community Organizing skills to the federal level (see DOJ’s recent directive to schools on race-based student discipline inequality).

    I won’t listen to his SOTU speech, but I know that whatever solutions he has in store will only make it worse.

  11. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “One would think that there’s enough good in most people to reject it on some level, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.”

    On a person to person level, theft is rejected. But as Robert Heinlein pointed out, “man is a rationalizing animal, not a rational animal” so the trick is to depersonalize it. It’s not the Donald Trumps of the world who are evil but “the rich”, the amorphous ‘they’, ‘the other’.

    Most of all, it’s the rich who support capitalism and deny the left’s rationale, like the Koch brothers and other ‘capitalists’. All of whom, according to the left’s meme, have a remarkable resemblance in demeanor to the stereotypical amorality and immorality of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and the Gordon Gekko character’s “greed is good”.

    Its effective because most people today are intellectually lazy and welcome the opportunity to displace blame upon a scapegoat.

    “Hand the people a scapegoat to hate. Let them kill a scapegoat occasionally for cathartic release. The mechanism is ages old. Tyrants used it centuries before the word “psychology” was ever invented. It works, too. “ R.A. Heinlein

  12. Mr. Frank Says:

    Inequality is the natural order of human life. All societies are stratified to some extent. At a minimum they are stratified by age and sex. In most societies adults have more power than children and men have more power than women. Some people are smarter than others or better looking or stronger or more hard working. The net effect is inequality. The only way to suppress inequality is via a police state like North Korea or Cuba andwalls to keep people in. Of course the enforcers have it better than the controlled.

  13. J.J. Says:

    I grew up in a summer resort area where many one percenters had summer homes. I always felt a sense of pity for them. None of them could find their way around in the mountains. None of them knew how to start a camp fire with flint and steel. None of them could bivouac out in the mountains and live to tell about it. I guided some of their kids on fishing and hiking trips and found the kids were soft and whiny. As a result of that boyhood experience I never envied them.

    Too may people think that our corporations are somehow swindling the public. I have talked with too many adults who just assume that somehow the corporations are corrupt. Yet, when I ask them if they have ever studied the financial reports to see how the corporations earn or lose money, their answer is almost always, “No.” Anyone who has been an investor has seen companies rise and fall as a result of good or poor management, changes in economies, changes in government regulations, and changes in cultural tastes. Starting, managing, and growing a business requires constant hard work and good judgment to succeed. A close friend of mine managed to succeed with an outdoor equipment store when he was competing against much bigger, better financed companies. He did it the old fashioned way – hard work and exceedingly good judgment about what his customers wanted.

    Those people who envy the wealthy have no knowledge and no experience of the real facts about how wealth is created and earned. President Obama is particularly out of touch, as are all the progressives in academia. Someone should ask him why he wants to become more like Cuba, where they have real equality of income results for the 99%.

  14. artfldgr Says:

    i think you guys dont get it.
    there is a big gorrila sitting over there and your ignoring it.

    if socialism is about taking the money away from the wealthy, then why are so many wealthy FOR it. why are the mega wealthy MORE for it than the moderately wealthy?

    people have told you, but you keep discussing this within the framework that the people who made it put you in…

    ie. what if what it is, is never what it is?

    The American Communist hierarchy was told that any time they had an emergency of this kind they should contact any one of three designated persons at the Waldorf Towers. Dr. Dodd noted that whenever the Party obtained instructions from any of these three men, Moscow always ratified them. What puzzled Dr. Dodd was the fact that not one of these three contacts was a Russian. Nor were any of them Communists. In fact, all three were extremely wealthy American capitalists.

    Their courier always took these inquiries to Arthur J. Goldsmith
    But she never knew if he was one of the three, or just a go between.
    [you will find that the most key people have no wiki]

    “Why do some of the richest peple in the world support communism and socialism? Why would they support what appears to be the pathway to their own destruction? Dr. Carroll Quigley of Harvard, Princeton and Georgetown Universities states that he has been associated with many of these dynastic families of the super-rich. He therefore writes as an authority on the world’s secret power structure. His answers to the above questions may astonish you.”

    W. Cleon Skousen, in “The Naked Capitalist”, a review of Quigly “Tragedy And Hope”

    you think i write and say alot? read quigly…

    “It is now too late for the little people to turn back the tide. In a spirit of kindness Quigley is therefore urging them not to fight the noose which is already around their necks. He feels certain that those who do will only choke themselves to death. On the other hand, those who go along will eventually find themselves in a man-made millennium of peace and prosperity. All through his book Dr. Quigley assures us that we can trust these benevolent, well-meaning men who are secretly operating behind the scenes. THEY are the HOPE of the world. All who resist them represent TRAGEDY. Hence, the title for his book.

    “The real value of Tragedy and Hope,” writes Skousen, “is not so much as a ‘history of the world in our time’ (as its subtitle suggests) but rather as a bold and boastful admission by Dr. Quigley that there actually exists a relatively small but powerful group which has succeeded in acquiring a choke-hold on the affairs of practically the entire human race.”

    Skousen says that if he had written such a book revealing this conspiracy, it would have been classified as the ranting of some lunatic. But Quigley is an establishment intellectual and reveals the inner workings and history of the Money Masters with vivid detail in his book.

    Obama and kerry wont ok keystone…
    why? cause of the environment?

    warren buffet bought BNSF rail (hathaway did)…

    On November 3, 2009, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway announced it would acquire the remaining 77.4 percent of BNSF it did not already own for $100 per share in cash and stock – a deal valued at $44 billion.

    now.. only the superwealthy can afford berkshire hathwway stock… 175,000 PER SHARE…

    as long as obama and kerry do not allow keystone, its BNSF that moves the oil… gas… etc.

    so all this is, is Oligarchy…

    the whole thing was to live within a lie of utopia..
    but communism wasnt even basically competent
    then a lie as to peak oil
    then a lie as to the enviornment

    but of course…
    you will talk as if this stuff is valid…
    and is what it represents itself to be
    (When the people your talking about dont even do that!!!!)…

    you get wrapped up in a serious argument as to whether walking mummies and zombies are really the same thing…

    and forget that neither are real…

    the more you help socialism, the more you do the bidding of those who never want to compete again…

    they have moved the dominant white individualist race in the west thorugh old techniques not taught to us any more, and throug democide…

    extermination through bad advicve and political correct pressure.

    wioth white western males out of the way…

    then the jews are out of the way

    with those two out of the way, then the rest of the planet is theirs
    as those two are the only ones that fought to keep it open and available to everyone, and with those targets gone or neutralized there is liteally no stopping anything..

    think deep on it..

    This future, you can thank women…

    if it wasnt for their willingness to sell out their mates and children, NONE of this would be possible… in fact there are lots of quotes from marx and engles and others on it.

    no one can stop this because its mostly women who want the freebies…

    welfare is mostly women…
    aid to dependent children is mostly women
    most single parents are women

    so all these things are bribing women to replace their husbands and family with the state and friends with taxable entities.

    marx and engels said so

    now her work is taxable…
    so by working outside the house, she can be taxed a lot to pay for the day care she has to owrk outside the house to afford. her friend no longer watches thekids and gets taxed for doing so.

    all this income inequality is bribing women…
    oh, its going to be worded so that the listening ear will thing he is talking about them, but the outcome is women..

    as women can neutralize the men…
    do you thinkk black thug males go out and vote the way black women on welfare do?

    obamacare…
    working american pays 485…
    non working voter pays 1 dollar for same plan

    working american plays 800 for a better plan
    non working votor pays 4 dollars for same plan

    do you think ANYONE of those who dont work will vote against that kind of equality?

    you better hope so.
    but given that the morals that led the world is from white culture, not others, you can be sure they will all act like pigs at the trough and vote themselves into crawling into ovens with apples in their mouths..

  15. q Says:

    after Churchill speaks there really isn’t much left to say…

  16. parker Says:

    I am of the opinion that to covet is a ‘gateway’. It leads people into commiting all sort of despicable acts. Begrudging others for what they possess has never made sense to me. Buffet’s wealth belongs to Buffet, it does not belong to me.

  17. neo-neocon Says:

    artfldgr:

    Just because something you think important isn’t discussed in every single post or comments thread doesn’t mean people are unaware of it, or that they don’t consider it important.

    I think a great many people here have mentioned that there are many rich people who prosper financially under socialism or leftism in general. That’s not a mystery. It also is unrelated to the propaganda the left uses to further its cause and stir up envy (and alliance with the left) among “the masses.”

    The propaganda can be separate from the reality.

  18. mizpants Says:

    Boy, if you want to see the spittle fly (which you probably don’t) just make Neo’s point about envy — even if you say it ever so gently and judiciously — in the presence of garden-variety liberal Democrats.

  19. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I’m going to break my practice of ignoring artfldgr’s rants because of the importance of exposing the “world’s secret power structure”, of Skousen’s ‘Money Masters’.

    But to do so we must ‘peel back’ the ‘onion’s’ many layers…

    The extremely wealthy (the Koch brothers are an anomaly) are for socialism because they have been directed to do so by their masters, the Illuminati. Who in turn are directed by the Knight’s Templar secret society. Who are in turn directed by the Borg, who have us quarantined (I guess we’re just not worth assimilating yet).

    That’s as far as I’ve gotten but I suspect the conspiracy goes deeper. We really don’t have a chance! Resistance is futile…

  20. Capn Rusty Says:

    No article about equality, income or otherwise, would be complete without a comment referencing Harrison Bergeron.

  21. Richard Saunders Says:

    You’ve got to admire the guy’s sheer, unmitigated chutzpah. Gets on a plane that costs $200,000 an hour(!!!) to operate, flies out to LA, screws up traffic all day for us proles, to appear at a $45,000-a-plate(!!!) dinner to raise money to be reelected, so he can give a speech about income inequality!

    The sad part is, why are we right-wing wierdos the only ones who can see this?

    Anybody want to bet on whether he’ll mention movie stars and pro athletes in his speech?

  22. expat Says:

    Isn’t it weird that a country that has Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday seems to have so few lasting memories of what it’s supposed to be about? Like JJ, I am very thankful that I was not locked into a particular caste when I was young. I have had the freedom to explore the lives of many economic groups in two countries, and I find that the least appealing is that group which demand I eat only certain in foods or wear specific shoe brands. I never had to be a rebel because I always had the freedom to define my own life.

  23. Paul A'Barge Says:

    Facts.

    You can list off facts all day long. It won’t matter. At all.

    Well, to us it matters. But to people who by definition are not thinking (and I mean “at all”, not just “clearly”) every fact will be dismissed out of hand.

    Good luck with the preaching to the choir thing.

  24. Ymarsakar Says:

    Anyone here think the Obamas are equally sharing the misery with the rest of us?

    What about Hollywood Democrats and their actors guild?

  25. M J R Says:

    Declarations
    Noonan: The Sleepiness of a Hollow Legend
    The State of the Union is a grand tradition—but only if people are listening.
    Peggy Noonan
    The Wall Street Journal
    Updated Jan. 24, 2014 6:44 p.m. ET

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303947904579339142225570548

  26. J.J. Says:

    Capn Rusty, great call on Harrison Bergeron. Should be required reading in all high schools.

    A class studying “The Inner Game of Tennis” wouldn’t hurt either.

  27. Gringo Says:

    I for one am skeptical about Ivy League grads grousing about inequality, given that the Ivies are elitist . [How many Ivy League students, in order to increase equality at their schools, would give up their place at an Ivy League school so that someone with 1000 SATs could attend? Not many.] Ivy League grads are against inequality only if THEY are the ones administering the so-called anti-inequality programs.

    You betcha Mr. Obama is not in favor of equality in power where he would have no more power than John Smith living in Sunny Acres, Arkansas.

  28. Sgt. Mom Says:

    What Southpaw said – “If you don’t have what someone else has, the next step is to punish those who have it and take it from them. Envy is institutionalized and legitimizes the confiscation of other people’s property in the name of the greater good. So the left turns the sins of envy and theft into virtues, and the sinners can all feel good about themselves in the process.”

    I don’t know all that many insanely rich people, personally – and those that I have brushed elbows with, I don’t even envy at all. A big house – nice cars – all the trappings – those I don’t envy at all.

    What money is good for is to enable you to live life on your own terms. It lets you purchase a house where you want to live, with all the bells and whistles that you like. It means that you can keep a car and keep it in good condition, so that you can travel in comfort, and not be dependent on public transportation. It means being able to buy books, and pursue the hobbies you are interested in. It means that you can send your children to a private school, or even home-school them, if that is your wish. It means that you can afford to get a place for yourself or your aged parents in a nice retirement home.
    I don’t envy or covet those things that people richer than I am can afford to buy. I just want to get them for myself – by working at what I am good at.

  29. n.n Says:

    When was the last time Obama visited his home in Chicago? He seems to prefer the beachfront property in Hawaii. Typical socialist crusader. This is why people fear the proliferation of left-wing regimes. Their internal inconsistencies engender mass corruption and, historically, mass death.

    Anyway, Obama will address inequality because the population control protocol (e.g. abortion) failed to sufficiently reduce the problem set. They are seeking additional leverage to reduce the risk to their persons and interests.

  30. n.n Says:

    The economic equality issue is only relevant as long as there is progressive cost of living unmatched by economic development. Their inability to cope with reality is why the passage of Obamacare was so critical.

  31. Tonawanda Says:

    My (genuine) “single mother” family (with 5 kids) was on welfare back in the days when welfare meant cheese, flour, butter, lard and peanut butter. When the county officials made surprise visits to assure you were not spending money on a forbidden telephone.

    We literally collected bottles at 2 cents a return to buy day old bread (and donuts!) which was 1 cent.

    I went to a college attended by mostly kids from rich, established families.

    Not all, but most of those rich kids were clueless and thoughtless jackasses. They were rabid Leftists.

    I realize this sounds ridiculous, but here it is. The narcissism and bizarre lack of self-awareness of the rich kids contributed to my perception that the problem of wealth was not inequality with others, but inequality with the non-insulated.

    People having vastly more money than they could possibly spend on any marginally useful thing does not bother me. What bothers me is the frequent consequent inability to see what others see.

    Wealth is the perfect incubator of Leftist thinking.

  32. n.n Says:

    Envy is a proximate cause to other sins including murder. For example, the normalization of abortion was pursued for reason of money, sex, ego, and convenience. Women and girls didn’t want to be left behind. Men and boys didn’t want to be held behind. Perhaps envy, or specifically ego, is the root cause of both evil and good acts. We should probably discourage the former while promoting the latter by teaching the right choice.

  33. Ymarsakar Says:

    But to people who by definition are not thinking (and I mean “at all”, not just “clearly”) every fact will be dismissed out of hand.

    It doesn’t matter what a bunch of zombies think, if think they can.

    They will obey authority. We just shatter their authoritarian god and replace the chain of command with new leaders, and the zombies will soon be marching to a different tune.

  34. rickl Says:

    I think art raised a number of good points, as usual.

    I have not read Carroll Quigley’s book myself, but I have heard of it and I have read that Bill Clinton is a big fan. I think he even had Quigley as a professor.

    Great comment, Sgt. Mom. For the vast majority of human history, most societies were made up of a tiny ruling class, often hereditary. They were usually educated and had access to the best that life had to offer. The majority of people were peasants, who were usually uneducated and lived lives of ceaseless toil, the rewards of which were expropriated by their rulers.

    It was capitalism that created a middle class consisting of people who were able to improve their lot in life through reason, intelligence, determination, and hard work. If such people can achieve a measure of comfort and independence, then they have less need for government. The American Revolution and Constitution codified this into law.

    That is a direct threat to the power of the hereditary ruling class.

    Marxism, socialism, communism–call it what you will–is a conspiracy to eliminate the middle class (or “bourgeoisie”) and return us to a kind of feudalism in which the “masses” will be ruled by a hereditary ruling class and their high priesthood, which is academia and the media.

    All this puts me in mind of Francisco D’Anconia’s speech about the nature of money, which is my favorite part of Atlas Shrugged.

    My project for this weekend will be to see if I can format that text to fit on a large sheet of paper to post in the lobby where I work. I didn’t even bother asking my boss for permission. I know he’ll be delighted with it.

  35. rickl Says:

    Well, that didn’t take long. It’s easy when you have the right tools, in my case Adobe InDesign. I managed to fit it onto a 19″ x 13″ sheet, and I’ve already e-mailed the PDF to myself at work, where I’ll print it out on Monday.

  36. cornflour Says:

    A little ways up the comment stream, I mentioned that the paper on upward mobility, referenced by Neo, has drawn a lot of attention from American economists. One of them is Greg Mankiw, chairman of Harvard’s economics department.

    Mankiw does a little statistical work on data published in the paper by Chetty at al., and he comes to this conclusion:

    “Even a highly successful policy intervention that neutralized the effects of differing parental incomes would reduce the gap between rich and poor by only about 2 percent.”

    To me, that seems worth knowing.

    Mankiw’s blog entry on the topic is at http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2014/01/how-much-inequality-does-parental.html

  37. Ymarsakar Says:

    To the Left, they make a conscious choice to do evil.

    If they have 8 and you have 6, they will never be happy until they decide to force you to go to 0 even if it costs them 2 points from that 8.

    They would rather hold a 6-0 advantage over you, than allow you to get a close ranking as 8-6, 2 points of difference.

    That is the equality they are speaking. You are not equal to a six to their eight. You are equal to a zero in their eyes and it is about time they Equalized the differences.

  38. artfldgr Says:

    L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace!

  39. Don Carlos Says:

    “If the rich get their money illegally, then go after their crimes”
    Take no comfort in that.
    I submit this is increasingly being done. “Crimes” are defined by Laws, and Lawbreakers are defined as such by Prosecutors who hold prosecutorial discretion.

    Has no one noted the fairly frequent reports of fines paid by the Big Banks as “Settlements” of charges against them by Administration agencies (prosecutorial equivalents)? We’re talking multiple billions of dollars here, and nowhere in what I’ve read is there any statement as to what uses these “fines” will be put. They just fall into the government maw.

    Putting one’s faith and trust into Laws and Due Process today is just so amusingly innocent.

  40. MissJean Says:

    The stupid thing about this Class Envy is how un-American it is! The American Dream is to be rewarded for hard work and ingenuity. It’s not to point out how rich people have stuff and we want that stuff!

    It reminds me of certain retirees around here who worked for General Motors for years and HATED the company. They brag about stealing equipment from their employer, they punched timecards for buddies who didn’t come back from lunch, and they badmouthed GM left and right. Then they were outraged when GM closed their less-productive operations in Flint.

    They’re upset because their kids don’t have jobs, but they saw nothing wrong with their kids partying and getting bad grades back when GM gave them scholarships for pharmacy and engineering degrees through U of M-Flint. Because GM was probably getting taxbreaks for those scholarships, the filthy rich scoundrels!

    They seem unaware that in comparison to the farmers north of Flint and the retail staff in the mall, they were well-off themselves. GM gave them an opportunity to pay for houses in cash. They had boats, trips to Las Vegas, and designer jeans.

    Now their grandkids can’t afford to go to college and have trouble getting jobs other than landscaping and dancing with a sign outside the pizza place.

    Whose fault is it? The greedy corporations who don’t pay benefits. The greedy small-business owner who doesn’t increase the wage for shoveling a sidewalk or running a lawnmower.

    If they had any brains, they wouldn’t stir the Envy pot. Their grandkids might blame them for blowing their money on luxuries instead of putting money away for their grandkids’ education. Their grandkids might think they’re selfish for staying alive so many years in retirement instead of kicking the bucket and leaving a nice inheritance to those poor folks.

  41. neo-neocon Says:

    Don Carlos:

    Good point. Selective enforcement of the law is one of the biggest tools in the tyrant’s political toolkit. Therefore Obama and company are all about that.

    In the post I was speaking generally and philosophically, of course, assuming a sort of Platonic even-handed enforcement, just for the sake of argument. In the real world, that’s highly unlikely.

  42. M J R Says:

    “If the rich get their money illegally, then go after their crimes.”

    Even beyond the problem of selective enforcement, is the problem that all too often,

    the issue isn’t what’s going on that’s illegal, but what’s going on that’s perfectly legal, albeit unethical and/or immoral.

  43. NeoConScum Says:

    This member of the middle class is making significantly less(DAMMIT!!)than when The Boy King took office on Jan. 20, 2009.

    “Income Inequality” is such a nauseating & laughable term in the hands of these cheap ****ing Democrats like The Infantile Majesty and Chuck You Schumer. Loathsome.punks and snake oilers.

  44. handworn Says:

    The commandment against coveting has never made sense to me, even more so in our age of plenty (when much of what is coveted can be mass-produced) than when it was written. But effectively, it’s a commandment against ambition, because coveting something– a possession, a relationship, an asset, whatever– is ambition’s foundation. Have a commandment against what you do to achieve it, like seducing your neighbor’s spouse, or stealing an asset (at government-point or otherwise), sure, but barring desire itself makes no sense.

  45. IGotBupkis, "'Faeces Evenio', Mr. Holder?" Says:

    I’m surprised no one beat me to Margaret Thatcher’s excellent address at the House of Commons

  46. FOAF Says:

    IGB, I have seen that very memorable exchange. The great Iron Lady also came up with perhaps the most devastating one-liner against socialism (I’m sure everyone here has heard it), “Socialism doesn’t work because eventually you run out of other people’s money”.

    And boy do I wish we had a politician on the right today in America who could speak as emphatically and forthrightly as Thatcher did.

  47. Charles Says:

    It is worth repeating what the late, and very great, Margaret (Iron Lady) Thatcher said about this kind of thing – some folks would rather the poor be poorer as long as the rich weren’t richer.

    She may as well have been prophesizing about Obama.

  48. News and Commentary for January 27 | The Joke's On Us Says:

    [...] I know I won’t be listening. “Of course it will; that was a foregone conclusion. The left thinks this will distract everyone from the problems the Democrats and Obama have been having. When in doubt, stir up class envy and turmoil. Oh, and by the way, upward mobility has not declined, according to a large and important recent study. And that was reported in the NY Times, of all places; I wonder how they let that slip by? The researchers were economics professors at Harvard and Berkeley, by the way.” State of the Union Address to focus on income inequality [...]

  49. IGotBupkis, "'Faeces Evenio', Mr. Holder?" Says:

    LOL, beat you to it, Charles… with video :-D

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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