The Progressive Second Economic Bill of Rights

Here they are, via

1. We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it.

Because We Know Better than you. A free market can’t possibly be as good as government; we citizens acting on our own imperatives in that free market just aren’t smart enough to act without Big Government oversight.

Certainly, a case can be made for tougher enforcement of existing law. However, we have enough such laws and rules; we don’t need more. Indeed, enforcement would get much simpler were the extraneous laws and rules—vis., Dodd-Frank’s rules regarding who is allowed to extend credit, and the requirements that must be met independently of the terms freely agreed by the participants to the contract—rescinded.

2. We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.

Really? Is that why basic tenets of science are violated through suppression of scientific journals that publish papers that dispute, if not refute, the “settled science” of climate change? Is that why climate models are protected from peer review? Is that why data are outright falsified?

3. We believe that the Internet shouldn’t be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality.

No need for a free market here, either. Progressives know what’s “fair,” Progressives know what “neutrality” is. No one else need comment.

4. We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.

5. We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them.

Both 4 and 5 together…. Never mind that minimum wage law, that invention of FDR, originally was written explicitly on racist grounds so that white, northern union workers wouldn’t get priced out of jobs by black workers heading north to find work. Never mind that those who most need the jobs today—teenagers (especially black teenagers in the inner cities) just starting out, adults (mostly black single mothers) working the minimum wage job as a second source of income, working poor married couples taking the minimum wage job as a second source of income—now will be priced out of those jobs. Never mind that other jobs will go over to automation. Never mind that minimum wage jobs have a disparate impact on minority workers. Those jobs will be lost, as the CBO already has noted. Lost jobs get increased poverty which gets more government handouts which gets…votes.

6. We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt.

That would be nice, and work-study arrangements already are available, so are merit-based scholarships. Government subsidies of colleges and universities—both outright subsidies and those masquerading as “research grants” of one sort or another as well as outright grants to students—contribute heavily to the high and rising tuition prices. Cutting those subsidies would go a long way to alleviating the cost to the student. On the other hand, Progressives have yet to explain why a taxpayer in bankrupt Illinois with a child in college should contribute his tax money to mitigating the college expenses of a taxpayer in bankrupt California whose child also is in college.

7. We believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and pensions.

Pick one; the two are mutually exclusive. “Protecting” means raising taxes. Increased taxes means less money in the private sector with which to run businesses, create jobs, have money to spend—which turns the cycle of running businesses, creating jobs, having money to spend anew. Moreover, there’s no dignity in living one’s own retirement by taking money away from someone else’s currently working child.

Certainly, after a lifetime of work, people should be able to retire with dignity. But that means people should be putting money aside for their own future retirement, not giving their money to someone else who’s retired now. That requires privatizing Social Security and Medicare. That requires letting bankrupt pension plans stay failed within the existing Federal pension insurance law, and moving employees onto defined contribution plans (á la 401(k)s). People with skin in the retirement game, people responsible for their own futures, will do a far better job of managing their money than the Federal government, empirically, has done.

8. We believe—I can’t believe I have to say this in 2014—we believe in equal pay for equal work.

9. We believe that equal means equal, and that’s true in marriage, it’s true in the workplace, it’s true in all of America.

These also mean actually equal work. Time off for child raising, for instance, whether taken by a man or a woman, is time not working. It’s also time, nearly universally, not staying current on the work requirements and techniques, not accruing experience in the work, etc. Paying these folks a wage numerically equal to others who’ve not taken that time off most assuredly is not equal pay.

10. We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform.

Of course. But what the Progressives elide here is that “reform” to them means open, uncontrolled borders with, as Attorney General Eric Holder demanded, a “civil and human right” to enter our country illegally and without consequence. But with grave harm to what it means to be a nation.

11. And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturn Hobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!

These are two separate items. Corporations aren’t people—OK. In that case, I assume Progressives are fine with having to get sales approvals from each of the several tens of thousands of individual owners of General Electric in order to buy one of their washing machines. More to the point, as even Progressives are wont to say (when it’s convenient to them), it’s the law of the land. Moreover, it’s settled law. Corporations are people; the courts have long ruled so.

Finally, of course women have a right to their bodies. What they don’t have is a right to OPM for paying for their contraceptives. What they don’t have is a right to overrule the religious beliefs of others in order to force those others pay for women’s stuff.

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