25 Jan 2013

The Democrat Elite and the Post-Industrial American Future

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Walter Russell Mead describes the democrat elite’s vision of the future: a massive system of redistributionism devoted to trickling down condescending alms to a nation of losers from a tiny meritocratic New Class elite which rules over all.

A conventional, widely shared view informs the way that blue America looks at that future. This view holds that the death of industrial society means the death of the mass middle class. When millions of people can’t make a living “making stuff” in factories anymore, wages for the unskilled will fall. America will be increasingly polarized between a small group of high skilled creative professionals and a larger group scavenging a living by serving them: mowing their lawns, catering their parties and so on.

Those who think that the blue model needs to be preserved and extended into the future (including, I think, our current president and most of his top allies and advisors), tend to think that under those conditions we will both need and be able to afford an ever-more active redistributive state. The tycoons and the very successful minority will be so rich, thanks to their continuing gains from globalization and technological change, that they can pay progressively higher taxes to fund basic services and middle class jobs for enough of the rest of the country that something like a middle class society can be preserved. From this perspective, a government-funded health care system is more than a method of delivering health care: it is a way of providing protected, blue-model type jobs when the factories have mostly disappeared.

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One Feedback on "The Democrat Elite and the Post-Industrial American Future"

SDD

Democrats are long on vision and short on reality. What they can’t seem to understand (or more likely just ignore) is one of the first laws of economics: That when you tax something you get less of it and when you subsidize it you get more of it. It is simply not mathematically possible to have a small segment of the population working very productively to support a very large portion of the population which is not. And in attempting to do so, you simply make those proportions more extreme.

You can already see the effects today. In many states there is virtually no difference in spendable income between someone who works at a part-time job and collects EITC, Medicaid, Food Stamps, rent subsidy, utility subsidy, free school lunches, etc. etc, and someone who works full-time to earn $50,000 and has to pay taxes, rent, food, utilities, medical insurance. Why on earth would you expect people to opt for the latter?



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