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On Poverty and Unemployment, It's Left Versus Right
Illinois Review ^ | January 11, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo

Posted on 01/11/2014 2:13:57 PM PST by jfd1776

Month after month, the reports are announced: Job losses outpace job gains, every month. Hundreds of thousands leave the workforce, every month. The new jobs – what few there are – are more likely to be part-time than full-time, and to be lower-paying than the ones lost. Too often, the new jobs are the career-enders, not the career starters that new jobs need to be.

The story of the cooked books of the unemployment statistics is old news. For years now, the government reports have been leaving out the “non-participation” rate, so the unemployment percentage today bears no resemblance to the unemployment percentages reported a decade or two ago. Calculated the old way, today’s unemployment rate would fluctuate between twelve and fifteen percent, but that would horrify the low-information voter, so such a truth must never be reported.

But the key difference – the one that matters most to our nation’s legal voters (since the illegal votes are already determined) – is the difference between conservatives and liberals, in how they each respond to the persistent, desperate joblessness of the Obama economy.

Poverty, Unemployment, and the Left

The Left responds, predictably, with an apparent effort to ease the misery of the desperate. This is the visceral reaction, easily understood and automatically supported by the demographics of the short-sighted.

People are unemployed; the Left’s solution is to extend their unemployment benefits another 27 weeks, another 52 weeks, another 104 weeks. People are hungry; let’s give them more food stamps. Industries have fled, factories and stores have closed; let’s expand welfare, again and again, and even end the helpful bipartisan reforms of the 1990s that at least mandated some kind of work for many recipients.

People can’t live on what they earn; the Left proposes that we just force their employers to pay them more, through a hike in the minimum wage, or through some governmental bonus over their private sector wage, like an “earned income tax credit” or “wage enhancement.”

Look carefully, and notice what is missing from the pronouncements of the Left: there is no effort to actually reduce unemployment, or to try to shrink the numbers of the poor. The political party of the zero-sum game has no interest in exploring how to wean people off these government programs by becoming successful on their own. The Left maintains that this is a stagnant economy, and will always be (and it will, too, if they have anything to do about it).

Even when they say they’re proposing an “economic stimulus,” it’s just welfare under another name. The numerous spending boondoggles of the Obama Administration have been called “stimulus” but have in fact just been transfers. We borrowed billions to give states money to start road projects they couldn’t afford… billions more to build museums and scenic overlooks and gardens that unemployed would-be tourists can’t afford to visit, and cripplingly expensive high-speed rail that no tourists or commuters will ever choose to ride... billions more to fund school districts’ postponements of needed reforms.

This is the Left’s response: write a government check, so that your handout is coercively funded by your neighbors today or your own children and grandchildren tomorrow.

Poverty, Unemployment, and the Right

In contrast, what have been the conservative proposals?

Conservatives see unemployment and poverty, and seek the causes, proposing solutions rather than treating the symptoms.

The Right sees crime-ridden cities, driving away factories and other employers, and the Right proposes crime-reduction measures, such as concealed carry for the law-abiding, and mandatory sentencing for violent crimes, and capital punishment for the worst cancers on society. The Right sees the drug culture infesting those cities, and proposes closing the border to keep out the drug cartels, and thus reduce a significant foreign-sourced cause of this nightmarish violence.

The Right sees unconstitutional government overreach, a slow fifty-year growth in red tape – “red tape” sounds so harmless, doesn’t it, until you’re being strangled by it – and proposes that we stop growing it, and start cutting it instead. The Right proposes sunset clauses on new regulations, regular reviews of the value of existing agencies, oversight to ensure that federal and state agencies don’t exceed their charter or their legal powers.

It’s the regulations, even more than the taxes, that drive employers out of America toward other countries. Requirements to fund ever more expensive benefits, construction rules to meet the ADA, research rules to satisfy the EPA and DoE… the list is endless, and as they grow, the burden becomes too great, and the employers close.

But the taxes do matter, and in many cases, are crippling. FICA+Medicare is some 7.5% that you see on your paycheck, but there’s a matching 7.5% that the company pays on your behalf, a federal tax that doesn’t show up on your paycheck, so none but the self-employed – who see and feel that full 15% hit – are conscious of it. And the income taxes… with a federal effective rate of 38%, the highest on earth, employers find themselves hoping to earn less profit rather than more (how warped has our system become!), to minimize the pain of tax consequences in the modern confiscatory state. Conservatives propose reforms, with a reduction in the effective federal rate to 20% or 17%, or better yet, to match the tax haven of Ireland with a nice, reasonable 11% effective rate.

The Right knows that the problems of the jobless aren’t answered by a government check that just devalues what little money they have even more. The problems of the jobless are solved with economic growth. Nothing else helps, not checks, not EBT cards, not TV commercials and picket signs, not tee-shirts and Obama rallies, not “Occupy” tent cities in our downtowns or declarations of sanctuary cities by corrupt city councils.

The Right sees failed urban schools that serve more as gangland recruiting centers than centers of education, and proposes vouchers so parents can free their children from these sewage pits.

The Right sees the truth – that keeping kids in school, off drugs, and out of the maternity ward until marriage, are the basic keys to escaping poverty and climbing the rungs to success. And the Right proposes policies that support these efforts. By contrast, everything the Left does – from driving away employers to encouraging fatherlessness, from legalizing drugs to increasing the spread of urban crime – makes it ever more difficult to escape poverty and join the once-vibrant middle class.

A Tale of Two Worldviews

How on earth do we square this circle? Year after year, the two sides of the debate move farther and farther apart. The Right wants to treat the cause, and is stymied by the Left… and the Left wants to treat the symptoms, which not only masks the cause and leaves it untreated, but in this case, even serves to exacerbate the cause.

In order to write the checks for expanded unemployment coverage and welfare, in order to provide the funds for a “wage enhancement” or “refundable tax refund,” the government must raise taxes on the employers and the employed, must add to the ever-growing burden of unfunded mandates on the future, and must devalue their currency in the process.

So, when conservatives oppose such expansions, they’re not being heartless, they’re thinking long-term, trying to care for not only the problems of the day, but the problems of the future – a future so happily mortgaged and sabotaged by the modern American Left.

And what has happened under the years of Democrat power? The fifty-year slow corrosion of the Great Society was put into overdrive, with new regulations, new agencies, newly aggressive bureaucrats and newly crippling mandates, at an unprecedented pace. Is it any wonder that manufacturers are fleeing, that malls are empty, that office buildings and factory towns suffer equally unprecedented vacancy rates?

There is room for compromise; in politics, there has to be:

The Right can support temporary expansions in unemployment coverage – so much of our unemployment is the government’s fault, after all – but only if the deal includes compensatory measures to improve the business climate so that the private sector can create more jobs.

No conservative would oppose a compromise bill, for example, that cut the corporate income tax rate in half, ends the job-destroyer known as Obamacare, and opens up oil and gas drilling and pipeline expansion, in exchange for generous extensions in unemployment coverage until the resulting economic boom catches up.

But we cannot continue down the path of a Left that does nothing but drive people out of work and into the government’s nannycare. We cannot continue to intentionally shrink the private sector and grow the public sector.

The nation’s long slow decline has lately become a frighteningly fast decline – because of the destructive policies of the Left – and if our great nation cannot quickly transition from the Left’s approach to that of the Right, we will no longer be a nation at all.

Copyright 2014 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicago-based Customs broker and international trade compliance trainer. A movement conservative in the Reagan years, he served on the board of trustees of The Northwestern Review, Illinois Ethnic Americans for Reagan, and its successor group the Ethnic American Council, as conservative economics were understood and promulgated from the White House in that wonderful era. We need a return to the days when that bully pulpit advocated the Founding principles rather than simply being used for bullying.

Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut, and the IR URL and byline are included. Follow John F. Di Leo on Facebook or LinkedIn, or on Twitter at @johnfdileo.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Miscellaneous; Politics
KEYWORDS: jobless; poverty; unemployment; welfare

1 posted on 01/11/2014 2:13:57 PM PST by jfd1776
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To: jfd1776

It’s producers versus looters.

2 posted on 01/11/2014 2:15:50 PM PST by Hoodat (Democrats - Opposing Equal Protection since 1828)
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To: Hoodat

Someone wrote a book called “The Makers vs The Takers” I think I remember

3 posted on 01/11/2014 2:16:35 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: jfd1776

You left out part of the situation:


Now the world’s biggest exporter.

A lot of what China exports, are formerly America products which are exported right back to America.

All we did was get rid of the America portion of manufacturing. Likewise, making China stronger.

Enough. Bring back American manufacturing.

4 posted on 01/11/2014 2:17:53 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

We can’t blame China for the fact that, after we kicked out our manufacturers, they found somewhere to go.

The solution is to stop kicking out our manufacturers in the first place.

5 posted on 01/11/2014 2:25:33 PM PST by jfd1776 (John F. Di Leo, Illinois Review Columnist, former Milwaukee County Republican Party Chairman)
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To: jfd1776


Let’s not mis-represent things here.

China made a lot of money for themselves, and a lot of Americans, but we now need to look out for America.

Bring back American businesses.

We need to start building up America once again.

Just saying.

We didn’t really “kick out” our manufacturers.

They moved to where they could take full advantage of dirt-cheap labor in China.

There is a problem however. China isn’t America. America doesn’t receive protections in China.

China is becoming ever more powerful, and is selling America a huge amount of what we used to produce right here in America.

I say it is time to stop sending American industry to foreign manufacturers.

Bring back US jobs.


6 posted on 01/11/2014 2:30:48 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (
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To: Cringing Negativism Network; jfd1776

Somebody will blow a gasket when I say this - Oh well.

You’re on the right track. Take it one step further.

Eliminate corporate and personal income taxes altogether.
Replace them with tariffs. The nation survived over a hundred years that way and we can do it again.

(There is no “corporate” tax that isn’t paid in one way or another by the consumer anyway. And the personal income tax is used mostly as a social engineering tool.)

And as a side note, thanks to you, jfd1776 for showing exactly how the blogger’s forum was meant to be used. Full posting of your work is appreciated.

7 posted on 01/11/2014 2:34:47 PM PST by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: shibumi

Works for me.

That would start to bring back American jobs.

8 posted on 01/11/2014 2:38:36 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (
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To: jfd1776
A large percentage of these new jobs in the fed numbers are government jobs. Government jobs cost the citizens more money and produce nothing, nothing is exported or consumed that is made or grown by them because they product nothing except a bigger bill to run our government.

More government jobs is nothing more than more financial drain on the taxpayers for years to come. Government jobs are nothing more than more red ink on the ledger.

9 posted on 01/11/2014 2:40:59 PM PST by oldenuff2no ( .)
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To: jfd1776

talk all you want about compromise... we’ve seen ths dance before. in the end, the producers pay for it all and nothing changes

screw that

we’ve tried it the left’s way... and we’re cruising towards detroit. it time to reverse course and actually fix the problems by cutting outthe obvious issues. and compromising with dems won’t get you there.

if you’re going to ‘compromise’... you’ve already lost.

I’m done compromising

10 posted on 01/11/2014 3:32:41 PM PST by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

I would like to see more manufacturing jobs here in the United States, too. How many manufacturing jobs did we have here in 1960 and how many do we have now? If all those jobs left to China because the wages were lower, how can we overcome that? Pay our workers less? We could slap a tariff on Chinese products, but then the price of the products to Americans goes up. How do we overcome that?
The Democrats profit by having more government employees. Government employees CONSUME tax money. This tax money comes, for the most part, from the private/business sector. Every dollar taken from the private sector to pay a government employee’s wages, is a dollar a business can’t use to improve its competition with foreign companies. Even the taxes taken from wages actually hurts the business, too. Would the employees be happier and work harder if they received the money taken from their wages for taxes? I think so.
The sad part is that the Democrats know this, but they don’t care. Government workers vote Democrat. Welfare recipients vote Democrat. The Democrats will destroy the private sector in this country to get elected.

11 posted on 01/11/2014 3:34:34 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: jfd1776

Nobody wants to mention that virtually all the takers for the “new” jobs are ILLEGAL ALIENS.

12 posted on 01/11/2014 3:35:36 PM PST by Flintlock ( islam is a LIE, mohammed was a CRIMINAL, shira is POISON.)
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To: blueunicorn6

blueunicorn6 said:

“We could slap a tariff on Chinese products,”


They tariff ours. America needs jobs.

Bring back US jobs. Now.

13 posted on 01/11/2014 3:39:57 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (
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To: jfd1776
Had me until here:

There is room for compromise; in politics, there has to be

The Right has tried compromise so regularly that it's become an expectation of the Left, and the real effect is that only the Left's side of the compromise is enacted.

But we cannot continue down the path of a Left that does nothing but drive people out of work and into the government’s nannycare. We cannot continue to intentionally shrink the private sector and grow the public sector.

Mr. DiLeo, haven't you caught on yet that this is exactly the intention of the Left? Step out of the Reagan years, sir, for we shall never see them again.

14 posted on 01/11/2014 4:05:57 PM PST by workerbee (The President of the United States is DOMESTIC ENEMY #1!)
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To: jfd1776

If the middle and upper classes understood poverty and joblessness better, improvements would be made.

The middle and upper classes in Dickensian England didn’t understand poverty very well until Charles Dickens wrote his novels depicting it, after which many reforms were made to eliminate it.

Few Northerners before the Civil War understood the evils of slavery until Harriet Beecher Stowe’s ‘’Uncle Tom’s Cabin’’ became a bestseller, after which the North went to war to end it.

Where are OUR writers and journalists today willing to inform Americans of the reality of poverty and joblessness and the heroic efforts of small businessmen fighting against the government to keep their businesses running so they don’t have to lay off workers and add to the unemployment and poverty statistics?

Whatever happened to oral histories? No one has to be a Charles Dickens to record the struggles people are going through today. A tape recorder and a desire to portray the truth would be enough, but where is everyone?

15 posted on 01/11/2014 4:16:14 PM PST by Bluestocking
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

It is January.
It is Saturday.
It is getting dark outside.
It’s kind of cold.

16 posted on 01/11/2014 4:25:37 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: workerbee

No, workerbee, the problem is that the right compromised too often, it’s that the right hasn’t approached compromise correctly.

Giving in entirely isn’t compromise, it’s capitulation. That’s what the moderate GOP did for generations under leaders like Gerry Ford and Bob Michel.

But if you aren’t willing to compromise at all, you look like the villains to the uneducated middle - the so-called independents who decide elections.

So we have to use compromise correctly: did you see my example in the paragraph you quoted from? In that example, I propose getting 80% of what we want, and granting what they want as the 20% in exchange.

We need to view compromise the way that the left does - get most of what you want, while throwing a popular bone to the other side.

You HAVE to compromise in politics, but you have to know how.

17 posted on 01/12/2014 6:33:23 AM PST by jfd1776 (John F. Di Leo, Illinois Review Columnist, former Milwaukee County Republican Party Chairman)
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To: jfd1776


18 posted on 01/15/2014 5:12:49 AM PST by Teacher317 (We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men)
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To: blueunicorn6
How do we overcome that?

A ten percent import duty would raise billions. Offsetting income tax rate reductions would be the best thing for America, eliminating the progressive income tax altogether would be GREAT.

19 posted on 01/15/2014 5:19:41 AM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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