Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama's Coming Economic Justice

If you vote for change, it is reasonable to expect change. It is also reasonable to anticipate what change your chosen candidate is likely to bring based on his past behavior and statements. George Newman in "The Markets Are Weak Because the Candidates are Lousy" (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 29, 2008) helps us with that.

Bear in mind what Barack Obama has said regarding "fairness" as a principle to guide public policy, as well as "economic justice," "redistribution of wealth," and "empathy."

Newman foresees:

• "a gradual doubling (and indexation) of the minimum wage" giving us the predictable inflation and unemployment;

• "a Transparency in Labor Relations law that does away with secret ballots in strike votes" and gives us continual and ever more widespread labor unrest;

• "the double taxation of the multinationals' world-wide profits" and the consequent flight of capital to foreign shores;

• "a trillion-dollar reparations-for-slavery project;"

• price controls on pharmaceuticals that prevent the future discovery of lifesaving drugs;

• a "Department of Equal Opportunity for Women mandating 'comparable worth' pay practices for every company doing any business with government at any level -- where any residual gap between the average pay of men and women is an eo ipso violation;"

• "confiscatory 'windfall profits' taxes on oil companies" leading to less exploration, a smaller supply and higher prices; and

• in health insurance, "the mandated coverage of ever more -- and more exotic -- risks, the forced reimbursement for excluded events, and the diminished freedom to match premium to risk," which will drive private companies out of the industry, leaving only the government to cover us.

He anticipates an economically unhappy situation under the government of either candidate. The "prospects for a flourishing, competitive, growing and reasonably free economy in a McCain administration are bad, and in an Obama administration far worse." Though McCain "has a penchant for business bashing," Obama has a "visceral hostility to business." So "a McCain win would merely count as damage control."

Standing back from the policy details, you can see the spirit of Obama's economic policies.

Picture throngs of people--economically, educationally, socially and morally marginal--rampaging through wealthy and prosperously middle class neighborhoods, pillaging what was legally acquired through talent and hard work and with cascading benefits to employees, consumers, and communities, but which the looters are convinced is their entitlement simply out of class envy and egalitarian sloth.

That will not happen, because Barack Obama will do the pillaging for them through the federal government. And it will become the new American Way.

We will soon regard Cuba as an ally because we will soon be no different from them: poor and blaming the greed of capitalist counter-revolutionaries for all our ills. And the whole world will suffer.

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