Winston Churchill captured what this presidential election is about when he observed “the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
It’s why the young black Democrat mayor of Newark, NJ, Cory Booker, got high level repudiation from the Obama campaign, including from the president himself, when he insolently suggested that Bain Capital, the investment firm once headed by Mitt Romney, might actually do positive things.
Booker, an Obama campaign surrogate, went off script on Meet the Press when he refused to justify a campaign attack ad depicting the evils of Bain. “I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity….Especially that I know I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital.”
This was more than insubordination to Booker’s campaign handlers.
It was unmitigated heresy driving to the core of the Obama campaign message. The narrative, telescoping the theme of four years of this presidency, says that the American economy collapsed because of unbridled capitalism. To recover, the narrative continues, we must allow all knowing, all powerful, but compassionate political leadership in Washington to re-arrange the American economy and make sure businessmen never steamroller Americans again.
But Booker, educated at Stanford, Oxford, and Yale Law School, is a new breed of young black politician, who is actually trying to make a difference. And he is too close to realities on the ground to deny the truth he sees.
As mayor of Newark, he governs a city that is more than 50 percent black with a 25 percent poverty rate. It’s clear that what Newark needs is more business and investment, not more government.
George Mason University economist Walter Williams recently noted that America’s poorest cities with populations over 250,000 – Detroit, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Miami, St. Louis, El Paso, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Newark – have one common characteristic. For decades they have been run by liberal, Democratic administrations. The mayors of six of them have been black.
The big government, high taxation, overreaching regulation model of governing has been a saga of failure in America’s cities. And it certainly has not served well the black populations that disproportionately populate them.