Democrats believe the economy is like a pie. There’s a fixed amount of good stuff and the people who have bigger pieces got them at the expense of those with smaller pieces. If they’re right, then I’d have to agree it’s not fair for some to get bigger pieces and some to get smaller pieces.
But they’re not right. Pie is finite. You cut it up, serve it out, eat it, wash the dishes and that’s that. It’s gone. The economy is nothing like that.
So maybe Democrats aren’t thinking about a single pie so much as about a pie factory, where everybody has a right to the exact same number of pies, but some folks budge their way to the front of the line and hog more pies, so the folks at the back of the line get fewer or none. If that were right, then I’d have to agree that we should have rationing, like they did during World War II, so everyone got what they needed.
But it’s not right. The economy isn’t a factory that produces x amount of the exact same stuff every day, day after day. It grows and it shrinks. And the stuff it produces changes over time, just like factories do. In fact, the factory metaphor is less like the Democrat’s false pie metaphor than it is like the true Republican metaphor, except we usually use boats, instead of pies. Maybe that’s because we aren’t so obsessed with what other people eat or something. I dunno.
My point is that Republicans understand that the economy is not fixed, but that it can grow or shrink, like the level of the water on a lake. The economy is also not stagnant, like a pie factory that produces the same amount of the same stuff every day. Technology makes it possible for more people to have more and better stuff.
When I was a kid, we were solidly middle class. My dad had a job and a small business; my mom was a full-time homemaker who kept the books for his business in her spare time. Our home had one television, one rotary telephone (hard wired to the wall), and a single full bathroom for our family of 8.
When I was a teen, my folks put in a powder room on the ground floor, added a television in the master bedroom and a telephone line for the business. There was no call waiting then and most homes still had only one line, so I was one of the fortunate few who had no timer running when I was on the phone. After business hours, I could use the business line to call anyone I liked (locally) for as long as I liked. And I didn’t have to rotary dial anymore, because we got push buttons. We even had an intercom system! It was very posh; way cooler than what my friends’ houses had.
Raising my family, our home was similar, with a bath and a half and a business line the kids could use after hours. But because of the business, we had a computer in the house before most of the neighbors. Still, when my kids were little, one of them asked if we were poor and I said, “No, of course not. What makes you ask?” She replied, “Because we don’t have a pool.” For some reason, a bunch of the families on our street had installed pools that summer. We hadn’t. Ergo, we might be poor.
But when I was a teen-ager and the fifth of six kids, nobody had pools. It was a big deal when a family like ours could afford a second car. I remember when we got ours. And we did not live where there was much in the way of public transportation. My folks just made do with sharing that one car with his two jobs and their six kids. We walked a lot. In fact, I walked to and from summer school one year. It was three miles (literally), but only uphill one way. 🙂
If the economy were a fixed product pie factory, we would still have the same amount and kind of stuff that our grandparents had. Only the wealthy would have cars and phones and multiple bathrooms. That is exactly what they had in the U.S.S.R., which is why so many of us are so adamantly opposed to Socialism.
I visited Leningrad and Moscow in 1972; the trip was my one present from my folks for every holiday, including high school graduation, for the entire year. Russian women all wore the exact same hat and had the exact same boots, because that is all that the stores had to sell. We stayed in one of the better hotels, but there were no private baths, never mind television. We had to truck to the community bathroom down the hall, which was darned scary at night, when they turned most of the lights off in the hallways.
The phone connections, even room-to-room, were full of static. And where we saw ads at home touting the softness and absorbency of this brand of toilet tissue over that one, in the Soviet Union, the paper they provided in the jons came in small, single sheets, shiny on one side and rough on the other. Greasy spoon diners put better stuff in their chrome napkin dispensers.
We were just ordinary, middle-class kids on a high school tour, but our guide envied us. Compared to her, we were not just wealthy in terms of money and nice clothes and sturdy suitcases, but because we could go to school where we liked, pursue any career we chose and leave the country of our birth. She wanted to stay at home with her young child; the State did not permit that. She wanted to choose a career, but the State gave her only two options, of which tour guide was the less objectionable.
Wealth is not about money. It’s about stuff and it’s about freedom. Real poverty is when basic needs are not met and you aren’t free to choose your destiny. From there on up, it’s all a matter of degree and personal perception. I remember reading a story about a guy who grew up in an isolated rural area. He said he didn’t know that elsewhere, having an unpainted house meant you were poor. Where he lived, having a house meant you were rich. My teen clique thought I was rich because we had a second phone line. My young daughter thought we might be poor because we didn’t have a pool.
The economy really is more like a lake. When it is good and growing, the water rises and everyone’s situation gets better. When the economy is bad and shrinking, the water drops and everyone’s situation gets worse. Democrats can sneer all they want at “trickle down economics”; that IS how the economy works.
As a caring, compassionate Christian, I am not concerned with how big and fancy the rich peoples’ yachts are. Rich people won’t go hungry during an economic down turn and envy is a sin.
I AM concerned with how small and leaky the poor folks’ rafts are. Democrats say they care about the middle and lower classes, but their policies have forced people who were just getting by in 2008 to lose their homes and their dignity.
I’m all for safety nets, especially where young children, the elderly and the disabled are involved. We owe our retired citizens the pensions they were promised. But the Bible says those who will not work should not eat. Even there, Obama’s policies have failed by making it impossible for the millions who WANT jobs to find meaningful, full-time work.
Click on graphic to embiggen.
The Obama Democrats’ policies and rhetoric have not just harmed us economically; they have also harmed us morally by encouraging class envy and racial division. They talk a lot about how they’re the caring and compassionate ones and how Republicans are all greedy and selfish. But when I compare the fruits of their policies with the fruits of Republican policies, I come to the inescapable conclusion that Democrats are wrong on all counts.
I suspect some of them actually know it and are deliberately destroying our nation economically and morally, which means they’re not just wrong, but also evil.