Paul Jacob

With it now declared to be an act of racism to dare refer to the federal government’s dramatically increased and disastrous role in our healthcare as “Obamacare” — even though President Barack Obama, himself, once did so proudly, before its onerous provisions were triggered and began to explode in the faces of the American people — let’s just note that the, ahem, Affordable Care Act is . . . not.

So, unsurprisingly, President Obama desperately moves on to greener pastures: Class envy and warfare. Income inequality.

As if anyone in their right mind would choose to live in a society wherein people earned exactly equal incomes regardless of their workload or their success in satisfying customers or the importance of their labor.

Nonetheless, “An issue Democrats can win on” was how The Washington Post headlined Eugene Robinson’s column urging President Barack Obama to “demand that Congress raise the minimum wage — and not by a little but by a lot“ to fight “rising inequality and declining economic mobility.”

Progressives seem to think they can create wealth by fiat, by decree, by law. They say to businesses, “Thou shalt pay people at the entry rung on the economic ladder more money. And with their increased incomes (those not let go) the workers shall increase demand so much that our economy will hum and roar and create more jobs and more and better and better.”

Economists may disagree as to the wisdom or folly of raising the minimum wage — the calculation being: how many people can we hurt before someone notices? But any person with even a smidgen of common sense knows that wealth isn’t created because politicians command it.

In the president’s much ballyhooed speech that triggered Robinson’s cheerleading, Obama warned of “a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain — that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead.”

“Ahead”? Ahead of whom? My goodness, that doesn’t sound like equality at all.

The point shouldn’t be to get ahead of the Joneses. Or even to keep up with them. That’s not what the American Dream, or “America’s basic bargain,” is about.

The American Dream is to stand on your own two feet, to make your own way in this world on your own hard work and smarts and guts and perseverance. In short, to be independent.

Sort of like an individual Declaration of Independence.


Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.