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Obama's 1.5 Percent Problem Amerians are Anti-intellectual Because...

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Let's Talk About Inequality, Liberals

by Christopher Chantrill
August 07, 2012 at 12:00 am

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OUR LIBERAL friends like to talk about Inequality, and we know why. Liberals are deeply concerned about the increase of economic inequality since 1980. There’s even a book about it, The Great Divergence, by Timothy Noah, adapted from a ten part on-line article published on Slate in 2010.

Here’s the basic problem, according to Noah. In the 1920s the top 10 percent of income earners took home about 45 percent of “market income” that excluded government transfers. Then during World War II this share plummeted to 35 percent and stayed there until about 1980. Since then the top ten percent has been increasing its share, and now it is back up to 45 percent. This is “not a change for the better,” writes Noah.

It’s not due to race or gender, says Noah, because blacks and women have done better over recent years. Could it be immigration? No, economists “find little evidence that immigration harms the economic interests of native-born Americans”. Yes, it impacted the low-skilled, but did not really harm the average worker. Could it be computers? Possibly, but inequality started up in the 1980s before the computer revolution really hit its stride. What about evil Republicans? Now you are talking: lower income quintiles did better during Democratic presidencies that Republican presidencies, but it is hard to know why. Labor unions? Well, the Republican Taft-Hartley Act, union-busting, and delays in minimum-wage increases really hurt. International trade? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe it’s the Stinking Rich, the finance, entertainment, and CEO stars, but nobody knows why. Thank goodness that Democrats aren’t to blame for any of this.

So what is Noah’s solution? According to Scott Winship, it’s this.

Noah wants to “soak the rich,” create a public-jobs program, “impose price controls” on colleges, “revive the labor movement,” and “elect Democratic Presidents.”

Wow! Those liberal writers can really think outside the box when they try!

But ever since the Chick-fil-A business hit the fan, I’ve wondered if our national inequality problem is really a material, an income problem, as Timothy Noah seems to think. After all, who wants to obsess over material possessions and keeping up with the Joneses? Surely cultural inequality is far more important, and cuts more cruelly into the positive self-esteem of the culturally deprived.

Cultural equality must be important because, not ten minutes from the moment that President “Saul” Obama had his vision about marriage equality on the Road to Stonewall, Democrats from the Holy Office were taking folks like Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy out and showing them the instruments of torture.

Like the president and his liberal cardinals, I am also deeply concerned about marriage equality, for instance, the inequality on marriage between the educated class and the rest. You’ve probably seen the numbers in Coming Apart by Charles Murray. Back in 1960 about 88 percent of the top 20 percent of white 30-49 year-olds was married and about 83 percent of the bottom 30 percent was married. Now it is 83 percent for the top and 48 percent for the bottom. That’s right. Less than half of the white working class is now married, but there’s hardly been a change in the top 20 percent.

And it’s not just an academic issue of percentages. When less than 50 percent of the white working class is married it raises a question about “the children.” Their safety. Here’s how I addressed the problem back in 2005:

Children living with their fathers are safer than other children. The safest place for a child to live is with its biological married parents. The most dangerous place to live is with mother and a boy friend who is not the father of the child. Want to guess how dangerous? It is 33 times more dangerous for a child to live with mommie and her boy friend than to live with the child’s married biological mother and father, according to James Bartholomew in The Welfare State We’re In.

But, surely, most children are not subject to the predations of a live-in boy friend? That is true. A child is only 5 times more at risk when living with mother married to a stepfather than when living with its married, natural parents.

Yes. Let’s talk about inequality, liberals. Let’s talk about marriage equality. I’d say that it goes way beyond a question of “lifestyle” or “inequality” that a child of the married Dan Cathy is 33 times safer than a child living with mommie and boyfriend.

And what are liberals doing about this? They are writing silly books about income inequality. They are turning away their eyes from fatherless children to play “look, squirrel!” with gay marriage.

Our liberal ruling class has thrown away its moral authority. It is time for a change.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Knowledge

Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital


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