19 Nov 2020

Progressive Policies Make Decent People into Chumps

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James B. Meigs, in City Journal, describes the way Progressive generosity tends to penalize good conduct and playing by the rules. Relaxation of standards and selective release from conventional obligations of democrat constituencies that complain, he predicts, inevitably infuriates salt of the earth ordinary Americans who earned everything they have and who accept the world as it is without claiming victim status.

Last January, a small but telling exchange took place at an Elizabeth Warren campaign event in Grimes, Iowa. At the time, Warren was attracting support from the Democratic Party’s left flank, with her bulging portfolio of progressive proposals. “Warren Has a Plan for That” read her campaign T-shirts. The biggest buzz surrounded her $1.25 trillion plan to pay off student-loan debt for most Americans.

A man approached Warren with a question. “My daughter is getting out of school. I’ve saved all my money [so that] she doesn’t have any student loans. Am I going to get my money back?”

“Of course not,” Warren replied.

“So you’re going to pay for people who didn’t save any money, and those of us who did the right thing get screwed?”

A video of the exchange went viral. It summed up the frustration many feel over the way progressive policies so often benefit select groups, while subtly undermining others. Saving money to send your children to college used to be considered a hallmark of middle-class responsibility. By subsidizing people who run up large debts, Warren’s policy would penalize those who took that responsibility seriously. “You’re laughing at me,” the man said, when Warren seemed to wave off his concerns. “That’s exactly what you’re doing. We did the right thing and we get screwed.”

That father was expressing an emotion growing more common these days: he felt like a chump. Feeling like a chump doesn’t just mean being upset that your taxes are rising or annoyed that you’re missing out on some windfall. It’s more visceral than that. People feel like chumps when they believe that they’ve played a game by the rules, only to discover that the game is rigged. Not only are they losing, they realize, but their good sportsmanship is being exploited. The players flouting the rules are the ones who get the trophy. Like that Iowa dad, the chumps of modern America feel that the life choices they’re most proud of—working hard, taking care of their families, being good citizens—aren’t just undervalued, but scorned.

RTWT

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2 Feedbacks on "Progressive Policies Make Decent People into Chumps"

gwbnyc

every day: jump a turnstyle so what, dollar ceiling on shoplifting so what, throw a molotove cocktail so what…



Seattle Sam

There are a lot of people in PA and MI who feel like chumps because their votes were cancelled out by people who weren’t entitled to vote.



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