Skip to comments.Ivy League Populism
Posted on 02/21/2008 4:52:56 AM PST by Kaslin
The rhetoric of Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton about the sad state of America is reminiscent of the suspect populism of John Edwards, the millionaire lawyer who recently dropped out of the Democratic presidential race.
Barack Obama may have gone to exclusive private schools. He and his wife may both be lawyers who between them have earned four expensive Ivy League degrees. They may make about a million dollars a year, live in an expensive home and send their kids to prep school. But they are still apparently first-hand witnesses to how the American dream has gone sour. Two other Ivy League lawyers, Hillary and Bill, are multimillionaires who have found America to be a land of riches beyond most people’s imaginations. But Hillary also talks of the tragic lost dream of America.
In these gloom-and-doom narratives by the well off, we less fortunate Americans are doing almost everything right, but still are not living as well as we deserve to be. And the common culprit is a government that is not doing enough good for us, and corporations that do too much bad to us.
In the new pessimistic indictment, the home mortgage meltdown has not occurred because too many speculative buyers were hoping to flip houses for quick profits. It had nothing to do with misguided attempts of government and lending institutions to put first-time buyers in homes through zero-down payments, interest-only loans, and subprime but adjustable mortgage rates — as part of liberal efforts to increase home ownership rates.
And there apparently are few Americans who unwisely borrowed against their homes a second and third time to remodel or purchase big-ticket consumer items — on the belief that their equity would always be rising faster than their debts. Nor are we to look at this downturn as part of a historical boom-and-bust cycle in the housing industry — the present low prices and non-performing loans the natural counter-response to the overpriced real estate of the last five years.
Likewise, students are failing to graduate from college because there are too few government-guaranteed student loans. We don’t hear that thousands enter public universities without basic reading and mathematical skills — or that their college problems might in part be the fault of their own misplaced priorities in high school, and in part the fault of an educational system that is mostly therapeutic, offering fluffy courses and self-esteem training rather than rigorous math, science, literature and history classes. Nor is there ever mention of teachers’ unions, the system of tenure, or a vapid, politically correct curriculum, as explanations why our students are not competitive in the global marketplace.
We also hear that oil prices are sky high and our own automobile industry is failing due to windfall profits and corporate greed, but there’s no discussion of the fact that oil-rich autocracies like Russia, Venezuela and the Gulf monarchies have obtained a stranglehold on the global petroleum supply.
For Hillary and Barack, our automobile manufacturing crisis is not the result of uniquely lavish union health and retirement packages for American autoworkers. The government is somehow mostly to blame for Detroit’s meltdown and the energy crisis, not Americans’ own tastes in the 1990s for large gas-guzzlers and big homes, and their concurrent opposition to nuclear power plants, oil drilling off the coasts and in Alaska, and conservation of resources.
Wal-Mart, free trade and our debt to China also come in for blame. Neither Obama nor Clinton suggests that the middle classes of America have more purchasing power and have accumulated more consumer goods than any people in history. In reality, our acquisitiveness is a result not of corporate greed, but of our fondness for shopping at discounted warehouse mega-stores, whose goods are the result of hard work of hundreds of millions of low-paid Chinese. They not only toil long hours to make our cheap televisions and stereos, but their government lends us the money at low interest — through massive buying of U.S. government bonds — to buy their stuff in the first place.
To the extent that we have any social and legal problems from unchecked illegal immigration, it has nothing to do with the cynicism and corruption of the Mexican government that deliberately exports, exploits and profits off its own people. The problem is not the fondness for low-paid, off-the-books illegal labor among the upper-middle classes, nor the disdain for the law of illegal immigrants themselves, who crowd to the front of the immigration line. Instead, America’s xenophobia, blame-casting and insensitive government have made it needlessly rough on 11 million arrivals who otherwise did us a favor by coming.
As Sens. Obama and Clinton try to outdo each other in blaming government for our lack of individual responsibility and promising solutions by raising taxes to give us more government, they offer little change and less hope.
So true that it works in buying votes, so sad at the same time. Its the government subsidies and scandalous deals with student loan companies that create tuition inflation. Its the taxes on corporations that drain pension accounts.
The ivy-league is boosting its credibility with the welfare class by offering free rides to a few exceptionally hard-working and gifted students in low-incomes, but really regardless of income its the family that prepares those students to succeed.
It’s not hard to see why Republicans have lost the Congress, the Senate, and are well on their way to losing the Presidency, when “populism” is a dirty word. The voters are “the regular joes.” And the same guy that will movement conservative that will rail against the “party elites that stuck us with John McCain” has been so spun by those elites that he then turns and condemns populism . . .
This is why it is important to vote in November, so we won’t lose the Presidency and get the majority in the House and the Senate back
Show me their charitable contributions. Show me one person they have intervened to assist during a financial catastrophe.
Let me know if you want in or out.
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GREAT article! Thanks.
Can anyone explain why most “po’ folks” go into tantrums over educated blacks like Alan Keyes, yet accept the vapid wordsmithing of a black lawyer (Obama) as gospel.
We are all brothers and sisters here. Some people just don’t seem to see that the deliberate lies bred by the Democrats do not hold water.
White people are voting for a black candidate. Men are voting for a female candidate. Republicans are voting for a RINO.
What we need is a real patriot and statesman, not someone looking for more power.
Thanks for the ping, my man.
An excellent article, which as a result of the subpar reading skills of many, will never be understood by them.
Not being contrary but I vigorously disagree.
The beneficence of bureaucrats cannot overcome the juggernaut of government intrusion into the lives of the citizens who support it with their labor.
Our government has entered into a class ism peculiar to slave states throughout history. Beneficence is meted out disproportionately by the government sufficient to keep the servile minions in check.
Health care has nothing to do with providing the best quality of care to our citizenry. We already have that. The goal of socialized medicine is to enforce government authority over ever expanding segments of the private sector.
No amount of generous government officials can change the calculus that puts government in charge of people. It may sweeten the pill a bit but the poison in the pill still kills.
Unholy institutions will never be holy.
not being contrary, but I will say that governments and corporations are only as beneficial as the people who run them.
Your sorrow is duly noted. Did you notice you used the word beneficial, root "bene" to give? We all merely witness to our own condition.