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Klavan On The Culture

Suckers!

September 6th, 2013 - 6:07 am

I’m thinking of carrying Wall Street Journal economic writer Stephen Moore’s latest column in my pocket. Then when leftists tell me about “equality,” and “income disparity,” I can take it out, roll it up, and beat them across the nose with it shouting, “What did you do? What did you do?” Asking them to read it would probably be a waste of time.

The point of the piece is that “those who were most likely to vote for Barack Obama in 2012 were members of demographic groups most likely to have suffered the steepest income declines,” since he took office. Which is to say that young people, single women, those with only a high school diploma or less, blacks and Hispanics have all gotten the business end of the O shaft.

Steve writes with great clarity so there’s no point in my rephrasing him. Read this:

According to the Sentier research, households headed by single women, with and without children present, saw their incomes fall by roughly 7%. Those under age 25 experienced an income decline of 9.6%. Black heads of households saw their income tumble by 10.9%, while Hispanic heads-of-households’ income fell 4.5%, slightly more than the national average. The incomes of workers with a high-school diploma or less fell by about 8% (-6.9% for those with less than a high-school diploma and -9.3% for those with only a high-school diploma).

To put that into dollar terms, in the four years between the time the Obama recovery began in June 2009 and June of this year, median black household income fell by just over $4,000, Hispanic households lost $2,000 and female-headed households lost $2,300.

The unemployment numbers show pretty much the same pattern. July’s Bureau of Labor Statistics data (the most recent available) show a national unemployment rate of 7.4%. The highest jobless rates by far are for key components of the Obama voter bloc: blacks (12.6%), Hispanics (9.4%), those with less than a high-school diploma (11%) and teens (23.7%).

This is a stunning reversal of the progress for these groups during the expansions of the 1980s and 1990s, and even through the start of the 2008 recession. Census data reveal that from 1981-2008 the biggest income gains were for black women, 81%; followed by white women, 67%; followed by black men, 31%; and white males at 8%.

In other words, the gender and racial income gaps shrank by more than in any period in American history during the Reagan boom of the 1980s and the Clinton boom of the 1990s. Women and blacks continued to make economic progress during the mini-Bush expansion from 2002-07. “Income inequality” has been exacerbated during the Obama era.

The whole gobsmacking thing is here.

People like me tend to make esoteric arguments for the free market — private property is the basis of freedom, equality is the trait of slaves and so on. But it is also true that, with light, smart regulation, free markets work better than anything else. For those blacks, Hispanics, young people and single women who were convinced otherwise? Wakey-wakey, sweethearts. You’ve been had.

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Top Rated Comments   
Friend, on the day you can show me a gospel verse that instructs me to give OTHER people's money to the poor, I'll become a Democrat! Not only have the poor gotten poorer under Obama, the rich have gotten richer. Nothing Christian (or moral) about that.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Wakey-wakey, sweethearts. You’ve been had."

Limbaugh makes the point that these individuals don't draw a connection between their personal circumstances and Obama's policies & will usually answer a question about their own and the country's economic woes with "He's trying".

("try" is not an action verb)

When Jesse Waters is out and about interviewing people about Obama, a common answer is "He's the man. He's my president."

wakey-wakey is tough.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Those who were most likely to vote for Barack Obama in 2012 were members of demographic groups which were also most likely to have politicized and even radicalized themselves into believing a vast conspiracy of sexism and racism is arrayed against them, wallowing in the 3 hallmarks of identity-based political correctness: blame, complaint, and self-pity. Certainly Obama ran on this notion in his second campaign for the Presidency.

If you think a liberal arts degree is worthless, try attaining success by institutionalizing 3 of the most destructive and childish forces an individual can indulge in.



32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (79)
All Comments   (79)
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This is all part of the Obamanation of Desolation. Everybody gets to eat a crap sandwich, but Obama supporters get custom-tailored crap sandwiches that crush their dreams.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Facts hardly matter. These groups would vote for Obama a hundred more times if they could.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some do...
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I assume the same argument applies to white working class males who voted for Bush twice, in spite of declining real wages during his terms?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was one of those who voted for Bush twice. It was easy to choose between him and Zero.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Which makes you the sucker. Sucker!
I hope all you low-information voters get what you deserve.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhaps I've misunderstood you. How exactly did you choose between Bush and Obama? They did not run against each other.

(Or did you mean some other Zero?)
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Al Gore. Remember? I would have voted for George Mitchell even if holding my nose.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Zero = Democrat
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
He probably thought Bush was running against obummer. Another low-information voter.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Klavan--

Right. Women, poor people and minorities voted against their self-interest when they voted for Barack Obama. But Mr. Klavan, you are missing the point. Obama specifically appealed to these and all voters to vote for him on "moral" grounds. And the morality he espouses is the same morality that you and all Christian Conservatives espouse. That is, it is moral to give up your self-interest for the good of others. It is steeped in Christian dogma— “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24. Jesus told this to a young man as he told him to sell all that he had and distribute it to the poor. Furthermore, what does the symbol of the cross mean--sacrifice for others.

Jesus’ teachings and life are diametrically opposed to capitalism. Capitalism is based upon the very idea that it is just and right to pursue your own happiness. It is moral to be rationally self-interested. Until Conservative Christians as yourself resolve this issue in your polemics, you will continue to come across as crass hypocrites and unworthy of defending the founding principles of the country based upon individual rights and pursuing personal happiness. You guys have and will continue to fail in the defense of this country's true principles.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is why I have chosen Paganism as my Higher Power, and Moderate Progressivism as my political economic philosophy. Paganism emphasizes balance and diversity in the world. Just like the diverse colors of the rainbow sum up to create white light, the diverse people, cultures, ecosystems and climates of the world sum up to create Gaia.

As for Balance - Balance is my economic philosophy. History has shown that capitalist-dominated economies overall do a lot better than state-socialist ones. But there is a HUGE caveat here, in that there's still a medium-sized role for government intervention in the free market through regulations, social safety nets, workers' rights and infrastructure.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Before the 16th century there was hardly any Capitalism. There was something I would call "Organic Economy" for lack of a better label. Capitalism, Fascism and Socialism are all version of the godless liberal models emerging from the great rebellion initiated with the Modern Age. All three systems end up delivering a godless society and therefore they all fail as the empty Golem they are. We now practice a mix of the three since it is evident that none of those systems can stand on their own. We must return to the moral and economic model preserved by the American Revolution (sans slavery, please) which IS NOT Capitalism but a common sense organic economy where the best lead the rest and improve the life of everyone.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
not at all. and in fact the quote you uses disproves your argument. "sell all that HE had and distribute it to the poor" . he never stated for the confiscation of personal property and forced redistribution. Jesus knew the value of work and knew if you didnt work you didnt eat. not to mention the standard give a fish teach a man to fish line. Jesus wanted us to be prosper and live our lives to the fullest. ya may want to re read the bible there cause you are way off base about capitialism and jesus. obama esposes the creed of dictators and slaves. jesus was NEVER about the potilics of envy. Im athiest and I know that
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jesus' teaching and life were compatible with free economics. Espousing a love of the poor leaves plenty of room to love the rich also. Warning those with a lot of earthly stuff about stuff's ability to divert us from the spiritual is just that: a warning rather than a condemnation.
On top of that, generosity to the poor requires that some be wealthy so there's something to be generous with.
The best answer to poverty is to lower the costs of goods and services. That way, even those whose labor gets less reward can have adequate standards of living and maybe even a few comforts and conveniences. That's what has worked since the Industrial Revolution; jobs need skills rather than brawn, wages go up; costs of stuff goes down; the poor have running water, electricity, and access to transportation.
And, as Mr. Klavan points out, Jesus' call was to individuals to choose generosity. He called on the young man to sell his own stuff rather than his neighbor's stuff -- and that was less to support the poor than it was to clear the young man's decks to focus on discipleship.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I believe you are wrong in positing that Jesus teaches it is moral to give up your self-interest for the good of others. He teaches it is moral to give up your self interest for the good of God. Your argument is quicksand into which many tend to step, that is, Jesus as some social reformer. He was not and his teaching was not directed to that. He says over and over, that your day-to-day is not what is important but service to God. And as God created all, including other humans, you serve God by helping othesr but you serve God in many other ways too.

It might be hard for a rich many to enter the kingdom of heaven but it is not impossible. The rich many just has to worship God and not money. If you worship God and increase your lots along the way, Jesus was just fine with that. (See lesson of the Talents).

Further, what does the symbol of the cross mean -- sacrifice to GOD not to others. Just looking at the bible as a well written story (something I am sure Mr. Klavan can appreciate) the cross is the ultimate symbol of redemption. Storyline: God creates a perfect world, people screw it up and make a 180 turn, Jesus dies and redeems the stupid people, make another 180 turn, and puts us in the right direction again.

So I believe you are incorrect in your assessment that Jesus teaching are opposed to capitalism. If fact, Jesus' teaching are agnostic when it comes to economic matters. He has over and over again, give to God, give to God. So long as you are doing that, Jesus is just fine with you making a little coin. You can pursue you personal happiness just fine, so long as you still keep God as your God and not solely your personal happiness as you matter of pursuit.

It certain is fine to be rationally self-interested and Jesus would say, that is just dandy with me, but put God first.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
First, economics is a peripheral aspect of human life. Second, aside from a theoretical belief that in economics there exists a win-win transaction, the entirety of human life, as a social animal is strictly zero-sum. All societies, human and animal are dominance hierarchies, and dominance is zero-sum matrix. Dems get the black vote because they promise blacks that govt programs will make it possible to live without working, and that all law and regulations will discriminate in blacks' favor against whites (dominance). What is inexplicable is the non-existence of a party advancing whites' interests. Whites will have to defend themselves outside the realm of politics, just as Patriots had to in 1775.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jesus teachings are opposed to greed, not to the market. He specifically commends a man for paying wages of his choice, and one person notably gets in a great amount of trouble for failing to collect interest from bankers. The Lord defends property owners against those who refuse to pay rent (the Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen)

To say the Lord is against free markets shows great misunderstanding of scripture.

In the Gospels it is Judas who is typifies the modern "Democrat". He complains about a woman willingly using her property to glorify the Lord saying it could have been sold and the money used for the poor, while, of course plotting to help himself to a cut.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Seems to me the very foundation of Christianity is free will. Which God gave us all. Capitalism and free will are absolutely intertwined. Socialism/communism, Marxism, etc. are all only possible with the use of force. Totally anathema to Christianity.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Friend, on the day you can show me a gospel verse that instructs me to give OTHER people's money to the poor, I'll become a Democrat! Not only have the poor gotten poorer under Obama, the rich have gotten richer. Nothing Christian (or moral) about that.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Light, smart regulation" is a nonsense. The majority of American voters were smart enough in 2008 and 2012 to see through the right wing lies when it comes to economics. Keep on trumpeting your "free market" tripe and in a few years you'll look back at the outcome of the 2012 election with nostalgia, because the GOP will have condemned itself to semi-permanent minority party status.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are, then, not denying that Jesus posits a morality of self-sacrifice. The Democrats and all of history's statists have used this morality as a basis for justifying their programs. It fatally undercuts any argument for capitalism if you do not address it. People do not vote their self-interest, they vote for the person who puts forth the most consistently "moral" arguments. They sense the moral corruption of the hypocrite.

Mr. Klavan, we are friends. I think, at least in spirit. Most of my family and closest friends are Christian Conservatives. My business partner of 22 years, whom I admire greatly in all other aspects of his life, is a Christian Conservative. But you cannot fight this great intellectual battle we are in with your homilies and conventional Christian beliefs. I am sorry, but greater minds have tried and failed. I am thinking specifically of William F. Buckley. Tyranny is upon us and to win the intellectual war we are in, our arguments must be morally sound, given with self-confidence and with moral servitude or we will lose.

Christian morality will not serve the battle for individual freedom and rights. It hasn't ever and it will not in the future.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Aristotle understood than man is a social animal. Individual freedom and rights are for cats and foxes, not humans and dogs. Sorry, Nature doesn't conform to Enlightenment philosophy.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good try, but Christ was not a marxist. He believed in God, for starters.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is a coincidence. North Korea tried Monopolistic Nepotistic Rule by a Single Family of Incompetent Communist Monopolists talented for nothing other than lying about themselves and surrounding themselves with millions of well-trained soldiers one step from the Gulag if they failed to follow orders. South Korea tried competitive capitalism subject to market success and failure. You could check a GDP balance sheet or more quickly you could check the famous satellite picture of the Korean peninsula on an average night. One side is lit in brilliance with a thousand cities of light. One is sunk in a continuous sea of darkness, particularly the areas reputed to be the slave camps where millions are starving to death still, despite brutal days and nights of labor. Use your brains class, and what you've learned about economics and basic human nature, and guess which half of Korea is which, and which half is using their army to keep their people in country, and which half is not so concerned with escaping "citizens." There will be no further hints from me.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Wakey-wakey, sweethearts. You’ve been had."

Well, yeah. I bet you think they care. If you want an insight into just how much they don't care, look at Detroit. The obvious has been obvious for at least 30 years, and yet blacks continued to vote for their corrupt criminal black leaders because they were black. And what was the first public outcry when Rick Snyder wrenched the city government from the greedy grasping venal but black politicians and appointed Kevin Orr Emergency Manager? "RACISIM!"
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I will only take issue with "the Clinton boom of the 1990s". Please. the first two years of his presidencey were going nowhere. After the 1994 elections which the GOP controlled policies were enacted which helped growth. It hurts to see a man so incompetent and immoral gettinf credit for things he was dragged into doing. Neither he nor his fat wife could find their way out of a broom closet.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Amusing how people are inclined to forget about the Republicans contributions to the good times of the late 90s.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yep..Suckers! Of course, we aren't far behind because we have only "esoteric" arguments about freedom and equality.
Something as simple as a 1099 for all income regardless of source might work. Wage slaves get their W2 and independent contractors get their 1099-MISC. If government had to issue a 1099-GOV for all the 'income,redistributed' we might see...something. They already have the computers running the reports. All we have to do is change the title and port the data for a 1099-GOV. Why resist?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sean Hannity had college students on his show last night and the ignorance of these kids, with their snobbish attitudes was verging on frightening.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I watched that episode with interest & noted that it was nothing more than a contest between pat leftist & right-wing talking points. It was a great illustration of a microcosm of the two sides of the great divide that is now our country.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stop kidding yourself. The two sides don't divide the country. They reflect the divisions within the body politic.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sounds to me like you should get out more. There most certainly are sharp divisions among the people over just to what degree gov't should play a role in everyone's life & it is most definitely dividing the people.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
you can't teach to stupidity, they wallow in it, and have the race hustlers and poverty pimps to thank for keeping them the low man on the Democrat plantation.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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