The Immorality of Progressive Economics
Most of today’s discussions about “income inequality” focus on the economic and political impacts of Democratic tax and labor policies such as more sharply “progressive” income tax rates, raising the minimum wage, or increasing eligibility for overtime pay.
On the left, Paul Krugman, President Obama, media economorons (such as MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, poster-child for economic illiteracy), labor leaders, leftist think-tanks, and Democrats everywhere argue that redistributing income is either good for the economy or good for their political prospects or both.
Every once in a while, an honest leftist — which does not mean a correct one — makes an ethical argument such as Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) comments (regarding Social Security, but she uses similar language to discuss most economic policy) that “this is a conversation about our values. It is a conversation about who we are as a country and who we are as a people.”
Putting aside Warren’s hyperbole that Republican tax policy is analogous to “deciding who among our most vulnerable will be left to starve,” at least she attempts to make a moral argument. (She’s roughly parroting the words of the single most reprehensible member of the House of Representatives, Alan Grayson (D-FL), who said in 2009 that the Republican health care plan was “if you get sick, die quickly.”)
Before proceeding, I offer one immediate concession: In a country which since at least FDR has been more interested in claimed good intentions and “fairness” than in positive outcomes, which for the last generation has seen politicians of both parties unabashedly unafraid to bankrupt the nation’s future in order to buy votes today, and which for the last half-dozen years has seen American voters, especially our young adults, taken in by a snake oil salesman of no accomplishment who nevertheless rose to become president and proceed to demonstrate why he had never accomplished anything else of note, it is not easy to sell moral arguments, especially regarding economic policy.
Please read the rest of my article for the American Spectator here:
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