Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Morning After

So one of my friends posted this as her status line on Facebook not too long after the election was called for Oabama:

...decides to brush up on her marxist theology in preparation for January, comrades.
Now I understand not liking Obama for his politics however no one has been able to successfully explain to me how anything Obama has said or done is any more socialist than what the Bush administration has actually done in the past month?

Please explain in the comments and use small words as I am apparently quite daft.

Before you go I would like to point out a couple of thoughts and data point which you may wish to consider:

1. From the OH SNAP! Department comes Alan Mendelowitz's bon mot which he dropped at the New America Foundation's forum Confronting Economic Meltdown. "The Bush administration, which took office as social conservatives, is now leaving as conservative socialists." Allan Mendelowitz is a member of the BoD and former chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board, a former executive director of the U.S. Trade Deficit Review Commission, and a former executive vice president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. I suspect he knows whereof he speaks.

2. Adam Smith, in his seminal work on economics Wealth of Nations said:

The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion. (Book 5, Chapter 2, page 14)
Was Adam Smith, cited by many as the father of modern economics, a socialist? Here he is clearly championing the same sort of "redistribution of the wealth" championed by President-elect Obama. Before you answer I would take the time to read the balance of Smith's magnum opus.

3. Inevitably someone is going to bring up the 2001 interview Barack Obama did with Chicago public radio in which he used the phrase "redistributive change" and makes clear that he endorses the redistribution of wealth by the government. Before you do I would go and read this piece by David Bernstein who concludes that, "Barack Obama is undoubtedly liberal, and his background is in political community organizing in poor communities. Is it supposed to be a great revelation that Obama would like to see wealth more "fairly" distributed than it is currently?" And the goes on to ask:
It's true that most Americans, when asked by pollsters, think that it's emphatically not the government's job to redistribute wealth. But are people so stupid as to not recognize that when politicians talk about a "right to health care," or "equalizing educational opportunities," or "making the rich pay a fair share of taxes," or "ensuring that all Americans have the means to go to college," and so forth and so on, that they are advocating the redistribution of wealth? Is it okay for a politician to talk about the redistribution of wealth only so long as you don't actually use phrases such as "redistribution" or "spreading the wealth," in which case he suddenly becomes "socialist"?
Now I can understand if you are of a Libertarian bent and feel that ANY tax is a plan by the dirty commies to crap up your free market paradise and you need not weigh in here, but for those of you that think SOME taxes are a good thing, and I will assume this is most of my audience as I think most of you like police protection, the military, roads, and, hey, even getting to vote. (If you don't like these things then I would hope you can at least see the need for them.)

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