Fred Barnes writes in The Weekly Standard about the boneheaded economics of “liberal Democrats. With all due respect to Mr. Barnes, who is a far better writer than I, I beg to differ with his characterization. Here are the examples he presents of their boneheadedness.
Barbara Lee, a House member from California, is upset about computerized checkout lines at grocery stores. She avoids lines with no flesh-and-blood checker. “I refuse to do that,” Lee said at a House Appropriations Committee hearing, “I know that’s a job or two or three that’s gone.”
Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois is up in arms about the iPad, which he declared on the House floor recently is “now probably responsible for eliminating thousands of jobs.” Alas, “what becomes of bookstores and librarians and all the jobs associated with paper?” Quite soon, he said, “such jobs will simply not exist.”
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi has her own remedy for the jobs dearth: Extend unemployment benefits. “It injects demand into the economy,” she insists. “It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name.” It has the “double benefit” of putting money in the pockets of the jobless and acting as a “job creator.”
Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota is the champion of job creation by adding to the regulatory burden of businesses. Sounds counter-productive, right? Not so, Ellison told MSNBC. Companies will have to hire more people to comply with new regs. “If the government says, look, we have got to reduce our carbon footprint, you will kick into gear a whole number of people that know how to do that or have ideas about that, and that will be a job engine,” Ellison said.
These are all very smart people; they know better, Mr. Barnes notwithstanding. Rep Lee knows that technology creates more, and better, jobs than its lack. Otherwise, she’d be pushing legislation to return us to the 19th century when roads were built with shovels and picks, there’d be no electricity to light her reading lamp, and there’d be no telephones or cars to ease her communication or travel.
Rep. Jackson had just been extolling the virtues of the iPad a few months prior to his remarks above. I don’t think this flip-flop is an indication of any boneheadedness on his part.
Rep Pelosi didn’t get to be the Representative of the 8th District of California for 24 years and Speaker of the House of Representatives for 6 years because she’s a ditz.
Finally, Rep Ellison knows regulations don’t create jobs. If they did, we’d have full employment, what with the number of government regulations expanding from 2600 pages in the Federal Register in 1936 to over 80,000 pages today.
It’s clear that these Progressives do think we are boneheaded, though. It’s been their mantra for the last couple of years, for instance, that if only we understood what they were saying to us we would, perforce, agree with them and fall right in line with their government-will-take-care-of-us meme. But since we don’t agree, they say it must be because we don’t understand; there must be something wrong with their messaging. They need, they say, to keep adjusting their message until we do understand them. They just need to keep dumbing down their message until we finally get it.
No, these Congressmen aren’t boneheaded. Nor is their economics; those words aren’t intended to have any meaning. This is just part of their messaging, and part of their cynical attitude toward us. They’re used to having us dependent on themon government for our welfare, and they’re loathe to lose that power. When they were swept to dominant positions by the 2008 elections, they rolled the dice on their control of our welfare. They passed “stimulus” spending for the benefit of their unions, then they rammed through Obamacare to drastically increase our dependency on themon government, and then they rammed through Dodd-Frank to hamstring American businesses so as to increase our dependency. Only three years on, with unemployment ranging between 9% and 10% the entire time, did they finally get around to paying lip service to a “jobs” bill. But this is, in the event, just an attempt to push class warfare, while looking to continue paying us for (still) not working with yet more “unemployment insurance”—insurance designed to insure that we continue to not work and remain dependent on…government. Oh, and it has further spending for their unions.
After the midterm elections last year, and with the continuing disaster of their policies these last three years, they’re simply worried about losing their power. This latest round of claims which Mr. Barnes provides just shows the Progressive cynical attitude toward us: they’ll say anything they can think of to pander to us, get our votes, and stay in power.