The View From 1776

If Obama Really Wanted to Help the Poor

The president’s socialistic income-redistribution paradigm has proved elsewhere to be a formula for economic stagnation or brutal tyranny.  The individualistic and self-reliant ethic that brought colonists to North America in the 17th century and led to formation of the United States is much more effective at raising everyone’s living standard, as even the left-wing Brookings Institute advises.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/06 at 06:40 PM
  1. That may be what the NCPA commentary says, but it's not what the Brookings article it links to says. The Brookings article is the same, "don't confuse me with the facts", leftist spin.

    The NCPA comments are technically correct, but it requires a "magic wand", a "deus ex machina". The only part fully in the individual's control is to study -- at least completing high school and preferably a bachelor's degree -- and even that may not pay much in the way of dividends if they're, e.g. dyslexic, or choose a field directly targeted by student visa and guest-work visa programs. Of course, much more of the population graduates from HS than in the past, and very high percentages are attending colleges and universities. But we still have significant numbers of people with an anti-academic culture, i.e. who don't value education highly.

    Their 2nd suggestion puts us in magic wand territory... stay employed, become re-employed. It fails to prescribe how, just as Greenspan, for instance, urged people to move to more cutting-edge fields while refusing to mention what those are, and, more recently, claimed that it was OK to artificially drive down pay and opportunities for US citizens in middle-salary jobs (while propping up high-compensation jobs) "to fight inflation". Being smart won't keep you employed. Being knowledgeable/well-educated won't necessarily keep you employed -- for the last couple decades we've had quite a few unemployed and under-employed engineers and scientists. Being industrious won't necessarily keep you employed.

    And more in the middle is the other common piece of advice, stay married, which requires mutual effort.

    I think it's more precise to say that IF you happen to become and stay married, stay employed, and are well-educated the odds are you won't be poor, but that fewer people, despite their best, honest efforts, have been able to become and stay married and stay employed in the last several decades.

    According to BLS, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains at about 9.5% for the 2nd month (while the part-time unemployment rate is much lower than full-time), average duration of unemployment is now above 28 weeks, employment/population ratios are down, labor force participation rates are down.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/08  at  11:05 AM
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