Liberals have a learning disability when it comes to the impracticability of socialism. They are so steeped in the seductive lies of false compassion that no amount of logic, history or everyday experience registers. Thus, they continue to burden the market system to an unsustainable level.
Liberals have always denied they intend to unduly shackle the free market. They say America is exceptionally prosperous -- though it never occurs to them why -- and can afford robust entitlement and redistributive schemes. But in no way would they favor anything extreme that would push the market to the tipping point.
Well, now that they are completely in charge, we've seen what they will do. Obama liberals believe not in America's promise (and Martin Luther King Jr.'s hope) of equality of opportunity, but in equality of outcomes. Truth be told, Obama probably believes in a wholesale reversal of wealth distribution: not just equalizing it, but making the wealthy poor and the poor wealthy. But I'll leave the psychoanalysis to others.
Largely because of their worldview differences, conservatives and liberals will never agree on the moral merits of capitalism versus socialism. Conservatives believe, generally, that economic and political freedoms are interconnected and that socialism, beyond the obvious, constricts and eventually smothers political liberties. (Hat Tip: Friedrich Hayek.) They believe that our rights are a gift from God and that it is both immoral and counterproductive for a central government to confiscate a major portion of some people's work product and transfer it to others. Nor is any man entitled to moral bragging rights for presiding over government-coerced theft.
But we're not going to reach a consensus on these moral questions, and liberals will continue to demonize, bully and attempt to shame conservatives with their phony moral arguments and ignore the overwhelming empirical evidence contradicting their intractable views.
They could sneak just a superficial peak at an unbiased summary of world history -- should any remain in print -- and confirm that the United States of America has been the freest and most prosperous nation ever -- by far. Even if they reject that Judeo-Christian principles undergird the Constitution, which established a system of limited government that has led to this nation's freedom and prosperity, they should at least acknowledge the freedom and prosperity part.But don't be so sure, at least not of Obama liberals. They seem to believe that America's success was some kind of historical accident or the result of collective malfeasance on the part of our forefathers and all those who succeeded them up to November 2008. They don't just want to change it, but punish it.
But even liberals less extreme than Obama are applauding his "transformative" change. What they don't understand is that this radical change cannot occur without punishing America and most Americans.
In their insatiable desire to rearrange the seating around the economic dinner table, they're converting the dinner hall to the Titanic and the dining room chairs to deck chairs. With their ever-expanding government and increasing regulatory control, they are sapping the lifeblood out of this country -- and bankrupting it. Even if they can't agree that stealing people's work product is immoral, can't they see that the end result of that confiscatory act is overall financial destruction -- a radical constriction of the economic pie and diminution of our economic and political liberties? No amount of moral preening can wipe clean the moral bankruptcy of economic and political despair born of good intentions.
Leonhardt says that the "theme" of Obama's agenda has been "to lift economic growth while also reducing income inequality." But "by focusing on long-term problems, Mr. Obama and the Democrats have given less than their full attention to the economy's current weakness."
Leonhardt just doesn't get it. It's not that Obama has not focused enough on the economy because he's been preoccupied with his agenda. It's that his agenda is incompatible with fixing the economy because it is destroying the human spirit and its capacity for productivity, not to mention that it, and his method of implementing it, are wholly inconsistent with any powers the framers' contemplated for the federal government.