Ben Shapiro
There are a few key phrases that tell you precisely where someone stands on the political spectrum. If someone invokes "social justice," you can guarantee he or she voted for Obama, even though everyone on earth is presumably for justice in all of its forms. If someone preaches "women's rights," you know he or she supports abortion, even though the rights of the women have nothing to do with whether or not they can kill their unborn child. The left has claimed these terms, and we all know it.

Then there are terms that are deeply political in orientation, but have not yet been co-opted by either side. One of the more pernicious phrases is the "less fortunate." Politicians on both sides of the aisle routinely utilize this phrase in place of the impolitic "poor" or the dated "lower class." President Obama, for example, ripped Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan as evidence that Republicans think they have "no obligation to people who are less fortunate." President Bush used the same phrase in 2008, when he announced that the United States has a responsibility to help "those less fortunate around the world."

Look more deeply at the content of the phrase "less fortunate," however, and it is easy to see how socialist it truly is. The phrase assumes that anyone who does not succeed in our economic system has somehow been unlucky rather than unwise or foolish. It assumes, conversely, that everyone who is successful has done so via luck of the draw. The upshot of this baleful perspective is that the system is inherently unfair -- skill is not rewarded, nor effort recognized. This sentiment drives government intervention to take luck out of the equation by guaranteeing equal results.

When we say "less fortunate," we generally mean the poor rather than the disabled, who actually are less fortunate. In truth, the poor are generally "less fortunate" only in terms of genetics. They are certainly not less fortunate in the amount of help they receive. They receive generous benefits from the government, and they do not have to pay taxes. The "more fortunate," by contrast, are taxed and regulated heavily.

The "less fortunate" are not less fortunate in terms of their chances in the economy; the government has instituted program after program dedicated to helping those who begin at low socioeconomic status. Class mobility for those of high IQ is widely available. The children of the "more fortunate" are the ones who pay the price for programs like affirmative action and scholarships designed for low-income applicants. In many cases, the "less fortunate" get to spend their days watching television rather than participating in educational endeavors, as studies tend to show.


Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro is an attorney, a writer and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. He is editor-at-large of Breitbart and author of the best-selling book "Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV."
 
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