Saturday, July 26, 2014
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The progressive war on equality

By
From page A8 | January 06, 2014 |

Progressives have a new Armageddon, namely income inequality, and, yes, there are some things to be worried about, not least of all what the progressives themselves will do about it. In the end, you see, many are not really egalitarian at all. They are instead condescending, disdainful, neo-aristocrats who think the ordinary Joe and Jane cannot tie their own shoes without help from Washington.

Mighty mistakes from such stunted attitudes grow. And while you might say that you’ve never heard liberal politicians talk like that, large numbers of them definitely act like that even as they avoid the sneering, haughty outlandishness of celebrity liberals seeking attention instead of votes.

Michael Moore, the maker of doltish documentaries lucky to get a single fact straight, once said we were “the dumbest people on the planet,” that our “stupidity is embarrassing” and even wrote a book called “Stupid White Men . . . And Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation.” Actually, the book did prove that some slow-witted folks are out there. It made the best-seller list.

Then you come to Bill Maher, the TV comedian who doesn’t rattle on just a little about American stupidity, but rattles on to the point of inanity about American stupidity. I happen to agree that a great many Americans are ill-informed, but I also think they are often the ones who vote for left-wing Democrats and that Maher himself is sometimes more than a little misinformed. He is one of those who totally missed the truth about Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposed Medicare fix, confusing the amount the government would give seniors to acquire insurance policies down the road with how much care the policies would cover.

On his TV show, Maher does not indulge his bigotry single-handedly, sometimes calling on small-name celebrities to chip in. One was guest David Carr, a liberal New York Times columnist who used the phrase “low-sloping foreheads” to refer to Midwesterners. Any number of writers have that kind of fun. Consider a journalism professor named Stephen Bloom. In an Atlantic magazine article about folks in Iowa, he called them, among other things, “an assortment of waste-oids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth.”

Progressive politicians would never use such language, obviously, but many of them do endorse policies that assume vast incompetence among the inferior, unreliable, hopeless masses. If they did not think like that, they would not employ command-and-control measures that clearly aim to make not just a few decisions for a few of us, but endless decisions for just about everyone of us. Not infrequently, the liberty-shrinking measures are more hindrance than help.

To address income inequality – and forgetting about equal rights, equal human worth and equality in the way we regard each other – many progressives are gearing up to intervene hurtfully all over again, aiming, for instance, to tell businesses how much they can afford to pay employees when they cannot possibly know and thereby costing many of those employees working hours if not their jobs.

A real problem making us less equal in outcome is fatherless homes that contribute mightily to more school dropouts, more crime, more poverty. It’s in part a matter of welfare programs that put wrong incentives in place but is also a sociocultural issue that calls for moral leadership, and here I would like to say that, despite my criticisms, I do recognize some special liberals out there, including one with a well-known name: Oprah Winfrey

I caught her on a TV show with the pastor T.D. Jakes making powerful pleas for fathers to do the right thing by their children. We need more of that sort of thing.

Jay Ambrose is the former director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard Newspapers, and was editor of The Rocky Mountain News in Denver and the El Paso-Herald Post. Readers may send him email at speaktojay@aol.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 11 comments

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  • Mike KirchubelJanuary 06, 2014 - 6:18 am

    What a smelly load of Sowell. Can't you find anything worthwhile to print or is this the best the right has to offer? This pile adds nothing to any conversation, except hate.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterJanuary 06, 2014 - 7:30 am

    Quite a refreshing article! Keep up the good work, DR!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensJanuary 06, 2014 - 1:15 pm

    There are certain elements amongst us who are communists, internationalists and socialists. They know the US is a free market business oriented economy and society that's the envy of the world. Yet they wish to destroy all of that greatness with lying, illogical arguments, sophistry of reason, along with empty emotional appeals that foster class and race division along with destruction of our economy and security. You know who those people are. Reject them!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mike KirchubelJanuary 06, 2014 - 8:59 pm

    I agree with you, Richie Rich. We should cast out Fox, the rabid tea partiers, and their funders. Bravo, Ritchie, bravo!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Punctures PrigsJanuary 07, 2014 - 7:23 am

    Darn right, Mike. Stamp out the first amendment! Silence the dissenters! Forbid freedom of association! Shut down the free press! Unite! We have nothing to lose but our chains!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895January 07, 2014 - 12:14 pm

    Is it true no one hates being called stupid more than a stupid person? All you have to do to get their attention and all riled up on your side is to say someone ELSE--on the other side--is calling them stupid. Where is StR when you need her to call out someone on the Right out on what she calls "illuminati tactics?"

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • OK U got my attention...U Persona Plumbeus Malus Peior PessimusJanuary 07, 2014 - 2:35 pm

    Why R U so fascinated w/me?.....All this discussion really does not matter the Globalist Bankers will collapse the US economy and soon all us Christians will be carted off to the FEMA camps for tortuer and be heading, then all you Dogs will Have Your Day, seeing how much you enjoy snapping at our Heels...Happy Now that I have done your Bidding?....Answer the Riddle at Mike's column and I promise I will GO AWAY 4 A wile....

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • A Present 4 U rlw U...The One Percent ( I have not watched it yet)January 07, 2014 - 7:25 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmlX3fLQrEc

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895January 07, 2014 - 9:53 pm

    Fascinated like watching a train wreck.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895January 07, 2014 - 12:18 pm

    But cutting through all the garbage, Ambrose is writing about the growing problem of income and wealth concentration. He doesn't say it's not a problem; all he does is encourage us to do nothing about it. The solution he attacks is raising the minimum wage, though it's hard to tell.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsMNovember 25, 2013January 07, 2014 - 12:25 pm

    If you think wealth and income distribution in America isn't a problem open the attached link. It's about wealth rather than income, but the same ideas apply. My proposed solution is not to redistribute income or wealth, but rather to make our tax system more progressive so that we can pay for more service for everybody. Part of the benefit of being an American should be excellent government service derived from the wealth our economic system generates. Part of the duty of being an American is to pay taxes that are weighted toward that wealth. The term "income redistribution" conjures up images the Bolshevik Revolution. I assume that's the intent. We aren't going to do anything close to that. The American Way is progressive taxation. We lost our way under Reagan and the results are apparent. We need to get our feet under us again as a free market, capitalist nation that knows how to do it correctly and sustainably.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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