Good News from US News & World Report, folks:
Obama to Stick with Class Warfare Approach in 2012
According to the story, the president will set the theme for his re-election in a January 24 State of the Union address that “portrays him as the defender of the middle class and Republicans as the party of the rich and big corporations.”
A recent Gallup poll indicates that the majority of Americans believe it is more important that the federal government enact policies that create jobs rather than policies aimed at reducing the so-called wealth gap. That bodes ill for the those who want to set Americans against each other.
Still, the class warfare rhetoric is disturbing. Much of it hinges on a redefinition of the concept of “fairness,” and I am willing to bet that if George Orwell were alive, he’d be awestruck at what the class warriors have done to change the meaning of this honorable old word.
Andrew B. Wilson, a resident fellow at the Show-Me Institute, a free-market think tank in St. Louis, has an excellent piece in the American Spectator on how the word has been redefined:
"Life's not supposed to be fair," my father said. "Stop measuring," my mother said. "You're not supposed to measure."
But this was long before a new obsession in American political life: rising concern over the issue of fairness. Many people have started to measure — and they are plainly envious of the good fortune of others. To borrow the words of a Japanese proverb, they have come to think that the nail that stands up is the nail that should be hammered down.
As an example of how a sense of envy is being actively promoted, Wilson notes President Obama’s speech in Osawatomie, Kansas. The president used the word fairness no fewer than 16 times. Occupy Wall Street, to give another example, is built almost completely on envy.
According to Wilson, here are just two of the things class warriors want to do in the name of fairness:
• They are calling for government right to claim more of your income to spend any way it sees fit (e.g. on silly "job creation" programs that wind up going bust and leaving taxpayers on the hook)
• They are using "fairness" and allegations of corporate greed and irresponsibility in order to justify a vast expansion in regulation and government control over business and commerce.
Because the United States has always been a country in which we value opportunity for ourselves and others, class warfare hasn't caught on as well as it has in Europe.
We’ll have plenty opportunity to see in the coming year if this still holds true for Americans.