Senator Marco Rubio responded yesterday to President Obama’s angry, sullen press conference on Thursday by saying that “America does not have a tradition of class warfare.” That’s been true through most of our history, but unfortunately we have established that kind of tradition over the last forty to fifty years or so, a product of the rise of the New Left. Obama’s Hope and Change was all about class warfare, but he wasn’t the only one selling it; John Edwards’ “Two Americas” preceded and informed Obama’s populism in 2007, and Edwards teamed up with John Kerry to offer a similar kind of class-warfare argument in 2004.
Unfortunately, we do have a “tradition” of class warfare now, which is why we need Rubio and others like him to debunk it, as he does here (via Greg Hengler):
“It’s class warfare, and it’s the kind of language you would expect from a leader of a third-world country, not the President of the United States.”
Rubio goes on to emphasize that politicians don’t create jobs, but that’s not quite true. They create public-sector jobs, and quasi-public-sector jobs at private firms that rely entirely on public funding. Those are not sustainable jobs, and they burden taxpayers rather than boost the economy.
That’s the real lesson from the Obama stimulus plan that included an extension of those now-infamous corporate jet tax credits. We tried having Obama and his crew manage the economy through central planning and seizure of (future) capital. Did that create a boom economy? No. It created a nearly stillborn recovery that has limped along for two years and now looks as though it’s tipping back into recession. That isn’t a measure of how deep the initial recession was; it’s a measure of how badly the government has interfered with the free market’s natural ability to recover from setbacks by reallocating resources effectively and efficiently.
When central planning fails, the planners have to find scapegoats for the failure. After all, it can’t be the planners themselves, or the very mechanism of central planning; if the public concluded that it was either or both, the planners would be discredited for a generation. That’s why central planners like to play class-warfare games, in order to convince the public that failure is really the fault of some Other that has taken unfair advantage of them. That’s the real connection to third-world dictators and kleptocrats, and given the history of such attempts at misdirection over the last 100 years, perhaps we should be thankful that the Other this time is just corporate-jet owners.