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Thoughts on liberal leadership


By Col. Stan Gudmundson

Fri, Jun 13th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

“It drives everything I do in this office.” Obama says that is “income inequality”. Here are more of his thoughts on the same subject. “The growing inequality is not just morally wrong, it’s bad economics and that’s why reversing these trends has to be Washington’s highest priority.” He also said, “a dangerous and growing inequality…is the defining challenge of our time (there is) diminished levels of upward mobility in recent years.”

Recent polls by Gallup and Quinnipiac indicate we are much more worried about “the economy, jobs/unemployment, and health care.” Gun control, immigration reform, the environment, and income inequality are so far down on the public’s list of concerns that they barely show a ripple of interest.

Why then do liberals make so much noise about things most Americans don’t much care about? First, liberal leadership really believes these marginal issues are critically important. Second, the pursuit of their sorry antique philosophy has resulted in nothing but dismal failure. Given that, liberals must do everything they can to hide, deflect, and smokescreen their “achievements” to conceal how bad their policies and efforts really are. They have to pursue “class warfare, class envy, demonize achievement, (and) demonize success….”

A National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) study “runs counter to the widespread belief that a widening gap between rich and poor has made it harder to climb the economic ladder.” Moreover, that same research indicated that upward mobility has actually improved. Another 2012 study concluded that “84 percent...have higher…incomes than their parents had at the same age…this generation is doing better than the one that came before it.”

The NBER study also concluded that “the fact the top 1 percent are pulling away has had little effect on the ability of those in the bottom fifth to rise to the top fifth.”

Did the last sentence confuse you? If you are a liberal it probably did. Let’s put it very simply. It doesn’t matter if the rich are getting richer. What matters is that you and I are doing better and not getting poorer.

But, but, but, it isn’t fair foaming-at-the-mouth liberals respond. That sentiment however, is so second-grader it’s not even worth responding to. Well, I won’t today anyway.

Just for grins let’s look at who are in the “worrisome” top 1 percent. They are really, really rich right? Not really. According to most recent data, to be in the top one percent, the Congressional Budget Office says, annual income has to be around $347,000 and above. That one percent pays 40 percent of US income taxes.

Okay, since that income isn’t that grotesquely huge, maybe we should be ticked off at the 0.1 percent instead. They make up 120,000 households whose threshold income begins at $1.7 million. Mostly business owners or “investors in startups” by the way. And what do these folks do? Primarily, they create jobs.

Or perhaps we should rather focus on richest 400. In a 17-year IRS study, the richest 400 included 3,672 taxpayers. Only four people (1 percent) were among the top 400 every year. What? You mean the richest people are not always the same folks?

Of course not. Many of the very rich are there only temporarily. They include a “growing number of professional athletes” as well artsy performers like movie stars, musicians, and so on. And also coaches. The careers of professional ballplayers and of many in the arts often don’t last long. The paydays are terrific but careers are short. Lots of statistical turnover among these people. Also, many included among the very rich are there only one year as a result of a business sale that took a lifetime to build.

A question the left seems to never ask is what are the differences between the rich and poor? People in the highest income categories tend to be married while those in the lowest brackets tend to be single (77.5 percent vs. 17 percent). Other differences include: earners per household – richest 2.04 vs. poorest 0.45 (67.3 percent don’t work at all); “have taken a business risk” – richest 63 percent vs. poorest 6 percent; and even “read two or more education or career-related books per month” – richest 85 percent vs. poorest 15 percent and so on.

As has been said many times before the simplest way to avoid poverty is to “graduate from school”…if you are not married, don’t have a baby”…and “get a job and stick with it”. The poverty rate for Americans working full time? About 3 percent.

One can make the case that Obama’s economic policies have put a damper on upward mobility. But the noise coming from the left about this, as I’ve said before, is a nonissue. Well, it was a nonissue until leftists began dominating our economy.

In 1998, 81 percent thought there was “’plenty of opportunity’ to get ahead.” Today’s confidence in the same? 52 percent.

Redistribution of wealth is a leftist goal but the only thing it does is decrease opportunity and increase misery. And decrease optimism.

We need a strong and growing economy. That is not possible if our country continues to be run according to a goofy collectivist leftist ideology promoting bankrupt policies, like redistribution, yielding wretched results.

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