|Obama's 1.5 Percent Problem||Amerians are Anti-intellectual Because...|
by Christopher Chantrill
August 06, 2012 at 6:00 pm
OUR LIBERAL friends like to talk about Inequality, and we know why. Liberals are deeply concerned about the increase of economic inequality since 1980. Theres even a book about it, The Great Divergence, by Timothy Noah, adapted from a ten part on-line article published on Slate in 2010.
Heres 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.
Its 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 its the Stinking Rich, the finance, entertainment, and CEO stars, but nobody knows why. Thank goodness that Democrats arent to blame for any of this.
So what is Noahs solution? According to Scott Winship, its 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, Ive 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. Youve 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. Thats right. Less than half of the white working class is now married, but theres hardly been a change in the top 20 percent.
And its 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. Heres 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 childs married biological mother and father, according to James Bartholomew in The Welfare State Were 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. Lets talk about inequality, liberals. Lets talk about marriage equality. Id 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.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable...
[1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006
No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, Letter to Lord Lytton
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel