How many decades now has the left been screaming about “trickle-down economics” and how the idea that a rising tide lifts all boats, or that giving tax breaks allows people to invest and thereby creates more jobs. is just “wrong, wrong, wrong, miles and miles of wrongitude?”
Thirty or so?
In fact, their mad infatuation with “democratic socialism” is part of this shrieking and this mindset. (Hello
Occasio-Cortex Occasional Cortex.) And it’s mind-bogglingly stupid as well as evil.
I didn’t realize how much of both it is until a recent Facebook discussion in which a leftist got… vocal and defended trickle-up poverty.
Okay, they’re – probably, though I wouldn’t bet on all of them – not aware that this is their preferred pathway and end result. But it is.
The discussion was about charter schools funded by government, i.e., tax money.
The argument against them was the same it’s always been: it privileges a few kids, while the rest remain mired in failing government schools. I’d heard it a million times. I’d just never actually stepped back and taken a look at how ridiculous that is.
Look, there is no comment about the charters costing more (they usually don’t) and no argument about the fact that government schools are failing.
There is just this outraged screeching that not every kid can get the same thing. Which is kind of amazing when you think about it. Presented with a dysfunctional school system that has resisted every attempt at reform and that turns out increasingly worse-educated children every year, the outrage is not that we aren’t coming up with enough ways for children to escape it, but that one of the pathways for escape should be blocked because not every child can leave.
The same arguments are adduced against homeschooling (when the advocates of government scholastic prisons aren’t shrieking that homeschooled children are maladjusted and ignorant) because – and this is almost a verbatim quote from that Facebook discussion – a divorced mother of two who is making minimum wage can’t give them an appropriate education at home.
So, what you’re saying is that if you can’t rescue everyone from, say, a house fire or the path of a hurricane, you should shoot those trying to escape so that everyone can die?
Thinking about it, I realized this is exactly how the left thinks about everything, even – or perhaps particularly – economics. In the case of economics, this is further complicated by their absolute and irrational belief that the economy is a fixed pie, i.e., no wealth can be created, it can just be transferred. If they were correct, we’d all still be trying to distribute the same flint chips our ancestors used to hunt, but never mind. Armed with this certainty, the left goes irrationally mad at the idea that someone, somewhere might be making “too much money.”
All of Obama’s pronouncements on “having made enough money” and “you didn’t build that” are based on exactly that idea. They’re based on the idea that, yes, government can tell you when you made enough money, and, yes, you didn’t build that, because wealth can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be distributed. And ultimately the government is there to make sure that everyone gets the same amount.
Or in other words, for the left the government is the teacher in the classroom, confiscating your chocolates because “you didn’t bring enough for everybody.” (And the government is about as connected to reality as the teacher who tried to take away my cough drops because I hadn’t brought enough for everybody. That took a call to mom and her descending on the teacher like the wrath of mom to fix.)
Or to put it another way, the left would rather we all starve in the dark than that someone light a stove and make some food.
Are they aware of this? I don’t know. I still think the left that reads science fiction is caught in a self-feeding loop of expectations. I think that because all the magazines and book editors went nuts when Reagan was elected (for those of you who are too young, yes, it was bad as when Trump was elected. Might have been worse) and decided to write “rusty futures” in which everything went to hell, a lot of the people who came of age reading those stories view the rusty future as “the future” and consciously or unconsciously support policies and politicians that will bring it about.
However, for the majority of them, this is probably not true. They’ve been hooked into the left by their “feels” and their self-regard as being more caring and nice than the rest of us. As a result, they believe that they’re doing the poorest a service of some sort by not allowing people to live better than the poorest.
The whole idea is that if we can’t lift everyone to the same level then no one should be allowed to rise.
This is very much the mechanics of the crab bucket. It is said – I don’t know, I never fished for crabs – you don’t need to put a lid on a crab bucket. If any of them tries to escape, the other crabs pull it down.
I suspect the left thinks if everyone is kept in dire need, sooner or later paradise will emerge, i.e., a way for everyone to rise at the same time and to the same level will emerge.
Or perhaps since they believe infinite pie economics, they think that if no one rises there will be more to be distributed.
What we do know is that their policy creates trickle-up poverty. At the end stage of their politics, you have the “rich” having one more rat to eat than the poor.
Look to Venezuela and Cuba and other socialist paradises for the result of it. Sure, if you make envy a virtue, those countries provide much less reason to envy anyone.
The difference is that politics that allow those who can to rise have created the most prosperous and secure society in all of human history.
While the socialist policies of “did you bring enough to share with everyone?” might present themselves as caring, but create only mass graves, filled to overflowing.