Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Restoring dignity

This is a repost since the current topic deserves more attention.

Restoring dignity

by Jim Fedako

How do you restore the dignity supposedly missing from our capitalist society? According to the socialists at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), you restore dignity by having one group of Americans thieve from another, and you have government arrange the transfer. Where is William Graham Sumner when you need him most?

According to EPI's latest briefing paper
A New Social Contract: Restoring Dignity and Balance to the Economy:

The very role of government is to ensure that the prosperity of our economy is broadly shared among all hard working Americans and their families. Yet, in the past two decades, government has not only retrenched in its obligation to set rules in the economy that value all working Americans, but it has set rules that undermine everyday Americans. It is time for government to be on the side of working Americans.

The paper was presented at a recent EPI public forum where Paul Krugman, keynote speaker and recent Nobel Laureate, provided the following words of wisdom:

So, if you say what would I really like if I went into a Rip Van Winkle sleep and woke up ten years from now, I’d like to wake up and discover that we have a national health care in some version with the necessary funding supplied in part by higher taxes on me, or actually, the top two percent of the income distribution. But people a lot richer than me, of course. But it’s not the whole story that the only thing you can do is taxes and social insurance. And the arc of history for the United States suggests that there’s actually a lot more that can happen.

And if you’re looking for a progressive agenda, certainly from my point of view, a large part of that ought to be straightforward orthodox stuff, which is still very hard to do politically. It would be essentially restoring progressivity of the tax system, and using the revenue to improve social insurance and, above all, health care.

But the amount of inequality in the United States is substantially less than it would be if we did not have still at least somewhat progressive taxation, and still a pretty extensive, though not nearly extensive enough, system of social insurance. And that makes a big difference. Certainly if you’re looking at say the United States versus Canada, a lot of the difference between the two countries is just that Canada has more of a better safety net financed by somewhat higher taxation.

Where is Bertrand de Jouvenel when you need him? The ideas of Sumner and de Jouvenel are still with us; their reasoning simply remains lost to the Krugmans of the world. The Progressives and their government allies have had over a century to work out the kinks of their socialist utopia, yet it remains beyond their grasp.

Even Krugman notes that we don't want the level of redistribution found in Cuba, but a level just to the north would begin to solve the nation's economic ills. How? By restoring dignity through repealing the tattered remnants of the concepts of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Sometimes it is as if the Soviet Union never imploded. I await the coming day when the New York Times finally changes its masthead to
Workers of the world, unite! That day won't be soon enough for Krugman and his minions at EPI.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks like Olentangy has plenty of Paul Krugmans around. I think we should all join in a class-action suit and get all our taxes back for the last several generations since our government schools misled us about the form of government we live under. While they were telling us other countries were Marxist they neglected to tell us ours is also.