The Legacy of Liberalism

The 50 year anniversary of Martin Luther King’s march on Washington is causing a lot of people in my generation to reminisce.

In doing so, it is hard not to be struck by two puzzling facts: (a) the fall of racial barriers to success almost everywhere and (b) the lack of economic progress in the black community as a whole, relative to whites. On the one hand, it would seem that a black in America can achieve almost anything, even being elected president of the United States. On the other hand, if we compare the economic condition of blacks and whites as a whole, you would be tempted to conclude that almost no progress has been made.

For example, blogger Brad Plummer reminds us that:

  • The gap in household income between blacks and whites hasn’t really narrowed at all in the last 50 years.
  • The black unemployment rate has consistently been twice as high as the white unemployment rate for 50 years.
  • For the past 50 years, black unemployment has almost always been at recession levels.

This incongruity has given rise to two liberal myths — repeated frequently on television talk shows over the past week: (a) that the fall in racial barriers is the result of liberal legislation, designed to outlaw discrimination in the private sector and (b) that the lack of economic progress is evidence that liberals haven’t done enough — that still more intervention is needed to correct the effects of current and past discrimination.

The reality I believe is just the reverse. The decline of racial barriers in the job market and throughout the economic system — at least outside the south — had very little to do with liberal legislation. But the lack of economic progress by the black community as a whole is in many ways the result of the liberal economic policies. On balance, liberalism has been an obstacle to black progress, not a help.

“I have a dream”

The natural assumption is to believe that labor market regulations are preventing discrimination — against blacks and other minorities, against women, against…Well, against just about everybody who isn’t a young, white male with an Ivy League degree. However, as I’ve previously reported, June O’Neill, an economist who used to direct the Congressional Budget Office, and her husband Dave O’Neill have produced a comprehensive study of this issue and they find that the natural assumption is wrong.

Take the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The O’Neills find that the black/white wage gap was narrowing at about the same rate in the two decades leading up to the passage of the act as it did in the years that followed. Only in the South is there evidence that the legislation mattered. Outside the South, federal legislation basically followed social change rather than lead it. The wages of blacks rose relative to those of whites over time for two primary reasons: (1) more schooling and better schooling and (2) the migration of blacks out of the South.

[The approach of the Kennedy White House to race relations, by the way, was similar to the way Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama approached gay rights. One is tempted to call it "cowardly." In all these cases, the politicians waited until public opinion had clearly shifted before announcing their own change of heart and before doing or saying anything that would be considered politically risky. In other words, these presidents didn't lead. They followed.]

But isn’t there a lot of discrimination going on right now? Isn’t regulation combatting it? Take the difference in pay for black and white men. The O’Neills find that the difference narrows to just 4% after adjusting for years of schooling and it reduces to zero when you factor in test scores on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), which is basically an intelligence test. In other words, after adjusting for just two factors that cause people to be different, the pay gap between black and white men disappears entirely. Among women, the gap actually reverses after adjusting for education and AFQT scores. Black women get paid more than white women.

Among Hispanic and white men, the pay gap narrows to 8% after adjusting for years of schooling and disappears altogether with the addition of AFQT scores. Among the women, these two variables cause the pay gap to reverse. As in the case of race, Hispanic women are actually paid somewhat more than white women.

But if discrimination isn’t holding back black Americans, what is? Answer: the liberal public policies.

The political genius of Roosevelt was to combine people who had nothing in common and who didn’t even like each other into one grand coalition. This included farmers, labor union members, civil servants, the elderly, southern racists, blacks, etc. [Yes, black and white racists in the South both voted Democrat for years!] For each group, the liberal Democrat approach was to use the power of government to intervene in the marketplace. In return they expected political support. For example, the farmers got price supports; the steel workers got tariffs; the elderly got Social Security, etc.

In the Franklin Roosevelt era, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) became a cartel agent for the trucking industry as well as the railroads. The Civil Aeronautics Board became a cartel agent for the airlines. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) became a cartel agent for the broadcasters. The primary goal of all these agencies was to suppress “ruinous competition” and make sure the industries were profitable. Of course, you could argue (and some economists did) that regulation served the interest of both consumers and producers — a viewpoint that largely rejects almost everything Adam Smith said in the Wealth of Nations. However, even the pretense of consumer protection was blatantly tossed aside with the passage of the National Industrial Recovery Act.

The goal of the NIRA (modeled after Italian fascism) was to allow each industry to set its own prices, set its own wages and control its own output. Had Roosevelt gotten his way, we would have had predatory monopolies in every market. Fortunately, the NIRA was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. But suppose the court had ruled the other way? Or suppose president Roosevelt had succeeded in his effort to overturn the decision by packing the court? Can you imagine what would have happened to blacks, immigrants, other minorities and any new entrants to the labor market?

Almost all government intervention in the labor market was designed to help establish unions (the modern equivalent of medieval guilds) and to promote their interests. Minimum wage laws were seen not as a way of lifting people out of poverty, but as a way of preventing blacks and other outsiders from competing for jobs. Skilled labor competes against unskilled labor. And the political goal of skilled labor has always been to price its competition out of the market.

Similarly, equal-pay-for-equal-work laws and the Davis Bacon Act (requiring that all workers on federal projects be paid the prevailing union wage) were seen as ways to prevent black workers from “stealing” white worker’s jobs. In the old days, before there was “political correctness,” politicians actually said these things in congressional debates.

What I’m describing contradicts not only Adam Smith, but also almost all of modern economics. Special monopoly privileges designed for one group create benefits for that group, but harm everyone else. And the harm to society as a whole is inevitably much greater than the benefits to the special interests.

That’s where black Americans come in. Liberal government promises them a pittance or two. But these are mere crumbs compared to the harm of facing artificial barriers to of huge portions of the labor market. Of being forced to send their children to bad schools because they cannot afford the price of an expensive house. Of being denied the right to choose better schools for their children because of counter promises made to the teacher’s unions. Of being forced to rely on public provision of housing, transportation, and medical care because government regulation has priced low-cost alternatives out of the market. Of being seduced by a welfare state that subsidizes and enables single black mothers who try to provide for the 73% of all black children who are born out of wedlock. Of watching traditional black culture disintegrate along with the black family.

Here is background reading:

On the Democrats’ unholy history on the question of race, see Bruce Bartlett, Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past.

On the consequences of liberal policies for black America, see Walter Williams, The State Against Blacks and other writings.

On an editorial that makes some of these same points, see Dr. Ben Carson, MLK Would Be Alarmed by Black-on-Black Violence, Lack of Family Values.

Comments (44)

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  1. Dewaine says:

    “On balance, liberalism has been an obstacle to black progress, not a help.”

    Undoubtedly.

  2. Lucas says:

    In the last 50 years globalization has taken many jobs overseas that could have been done by black-Americans.

  3. JD says:

    This is a very important post. Government continuously takes credit for social advances giving them false credibility.

  4. Ken says:

    Good post.

  5. Buster says:

    There is an income gap and persistent pockets of poverty in the black community. Similar conditions exist in other ethnic or social groups. Much of this is the result of dropping out of school and forming single-parent households. Other ethnic groups suffer the same outcomes when they drop out of school and have children out of wedlock.

    Liberal institutions, schools, churches and parents are afraid to teach their kids these facts out of fear that someone might get offended. But the easiest way to avoid poverty regardless of your race, ethnicity or social class is to: 1) complete high school, 2) learn a skill, 3) find and marry a partner who has completed items 1 and 2 and is willing to stick with the family and 4) wait to start a family until you’ve completed the first three milestones.

    Young men and women who start with item 4 before they’ve achieved item 1 and 2 are at especially high risk of poverty. This is especially true of women.

  6. Dale Fuller says:

    The other day while listening to “We Shall Overcome” for what seems like the millionth time, it occurred to me that the old hymn needs to be refocused. Many of the current ills in the black community that are in need of being overcome are of their own creation. Black on black crime, deterioration of their neighborhoods, single parent families, low performance in education, hugh incarceration rates of black males, are not caused by evil deeds of whites. They have their roots in the mess the black community allows to persist. THAT’S what needs to be overcome, and whites can’t do that for them. There are islands where the overcoming is going along pretty well, but they are small and scattered so that too much of the black community still resembles Detroit.

  7. Edwin Harper says:

    John,

    Your post on the economic situation of black Americans is excellent!

  8. Perry says:

    I agree these policies seem to have created the opposite of what they were supposed to do. First, by
    creating preferential treatment, they may have spawned more animosity and frustration toward blacks from whites. Secondly, they are taking away the need and desire to excel and compete, because “why bother”?

    I think it goes back to the old adage of teaching a man to fish vs. giving him a fish. I sometimes think some of these policies smack of paternalism rather than truly trying to help people. Seems that time and money would be better spent trying to lift people up rather than more legislation.

  9. Crawford says:

    “Special monopoly privileges designed for one group create benefits for that group, but harm everyone else. And the harm to society as a whole is inevitably much greater than the benefits to the special interests.”

    There’s a cause and effect to all actions. When will the policy makers start looking at both the short and long term effects of what they implement? Look at the big picture, not the narrow scoped immediate benefit.

    • Perry says:

      I think that’s what policy makers do. They are reactionary and trying to gain favor with minority groups to gain votes. They are not really concerned about how the future of these folks will be affected.

      I am interested to see how immigration laws will turn out because both major parties want to court the immigrant population. I hope some serious thought will go into these policies, but I doubt it.

      • Crawford says:

        You hit the nail on the head, Perry. I would bet my bottom dollar that strict immigration policy will not be seen anytime in the next few decades. Is it really needed though? I haven’t decided.

        • Andrew says:

          You may be right, Crawford – but it will seal the fate of our struggling middle class if we don’t make a calculated reduction in the immigration numbers soon.

          I would argue that the expansive immigration policy trend that Congress started in 1965 has done more to wreak economic havoc on the black community than any other single policy issue. Roy Beck’s book (The Case Against Immigration) has two chapters devoted specifically to that topic (“On the Backs of Black Americans”). It is a compelling read.

          Blacks were closing the wage gap in the tight-labor market decades leading up to the Civil Rights Era legislation. To wit, from 1940 to 1970 the middle class grew from 22 percent of black Americans to 71 percent! But we’ve increased legal immigration multiple times (and seen a corresponding explosion of illegal immigration) since then. The Senate immigration bill seeks to do it again (it doubles legal immigration from the current 1 million annual level and also vastly increases guest worker visas).

          It’s not a zero sum game, of course, but the huge increase to the supply of labor has unquestionably led to a long-term wage stagnation. See here: http://www.businessinsider.com/real-wages-decline-literally-no-one-notices-2013-6

          And this over the same timeframe that the average productivity of an American worker has risen 80%: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/06/speedup-americans-working-harder-charts

          Our political parties will continue to seek to please lobbyists who prefer a labor surplus while spinning all their policy solutions as part of a political outreach strategy. Unless, of course, voters demand that they stop diluting the value of labor through worker importation.

  10. Centrist says:

    I’m not certain what the impetus of the article is. Is it to assert that racial prejudice does not really exist in modern America; or that it attempts to set the blame for existing social inequities on the shoulders of Liberals; or is it to garner support for the repeal of social laws?

    In the United States, laws must be implemented uniformly. If bullies exist in the south, then we all must abide by the laws designed to control that prejudice. I question your assertion – that no racial bias existed in the north and that introduction of legislation to stem it’s practice in south caused northern racial economic gains to regress.

    If your comments were to assign blame to the Democratic Party for civil rights legislation, I beg you to research the Congressional Republican voting with respect to such legislation. 1957 Civil Rights Act passed with 60% of Republicans vote. 1964 Civil Rights Act passed with 80% of House and Senate Republicans. No, social justice is not the sole purview of a single party.

    Finally, if it is ‘liberal’ legislation which you believe causes racial disparity, which Acts do you propose we eliminate? Social Security Act of 1935, Civil Rights Act of 1964; Voting Rights Act of 1965; Civil Rights & Fair Housing Acts of 1968; the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Nineteenth Amendments?

    • Roger Waters says:

      Keep all the civil rights acts. Repeal the liberal welfare laws, health deform laws, and other laws that harm individual freedoms and attempt to justify government existence with programs that make people dependent.

    • Frank Timmins says:

      Centrist, I can’t speak for John Goodman but I didn’t see anything he wrote about the north having no racial bias. In fact I think it is silly to talk in terms of racial “bias”, or for that matter sexual “bias”, religious “bias” or any other natural instinct of homo sapiens.

      The fact is we are all “biased” in favor of people that look like us, think like us, talk like us, are in the same geographical grouping as us, have similar religious views, etc. The government can’t effectively legislate against bias, and it should not try except with regard to basic human rights.

      The point is when this (government regulation of “bias) is practiced it usually has the opposite effect of what it is purported to do. I am talking about economics here. That means “business” and the laws that impact same. What do you think happens when the business world is saddled with regulations that seek to “equalize” employment opportunities for a specific “group” by creating extraordinary penalties, fines and legal liability for the slightest hint of “transgressions” against that group in the workplace?

      You guessed it. That business defaults to “not” hiring anyone in that group in order to preempt future problems for the bottom line. And that is what people are in business for – the bottom line. Here is what most progressives don’t seem to understand. The majority of jobs in this country are still provided by “small business”, and small businesses for the most part are free to hire whomever they choose, no quotas, no promotion parameters, no unions, etc. But once they hire an employee they are subject to most of the same federal laws that regulate large corporations. It doesn’t take much imagination to surmise there are a great number of talented qualified applicants who are members of a “protected group” that are passed over only for fear of potential problems related to regulations.

      Civil rights should always be protected, but when that “protection” comes into conflict with the realities of economics, they are counter productive.

      • Centrist says:

        “The decline of racial barriers in the job market and throughout the economic system — at least outside the south [The North] — had very little to do with liberal legislation.”

        Odd. In this single sentence, one would divine that the good doctor 1) acknowledged that there has been an overall decline in racial barriers, and 2)liberal legislation has impacted economic barriers in the South. So, one could either assume that the north magically devolved themselves from their natural homo-sapiens instincts … or complied with the new social laws, of which had broad bipartisan support.

        Liberal bashing on this topic is not correct nor productive.

        • Frank Timmins says:

          Actually it seems that liberal policies are exactly the issue here. In any case we are dealing with what liberal policies have left us with in 2013. It is difficult to rationalize their effectiveness given the inarguable sad state of black unemployment today.

  11. Roger Waters says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Reminds me of two instances that really stand out. In one, Linda, a very talented assistant in our office, happened to be black and was making minimum wage. She explained she did not want a better job because she would get a smaller welfare check if she made more, and her husband had to live in a different state so she could get a larger check. When President Reagan was elected, and the welfare rules changed, her children no longer could afford new lunchboxes and new designer clothes every September, and this lady cursed the President and conservatives. A funny thing happened, however, she started looking for a new job, which she found. Two weeks after she left I received a phone call from Linda, who was almost yelling my name through the phone with excitement. I asked her what was the matter, and thought there was a problem. She said “my paycheck, it’s double what I was making there!” She thanked me, as I had enouraged her to look for a better job that used her skills. After that I learned she moved out of the projects where she lived, into a single family home, and even was taking college courses. Did not find out if she ever reunited with her husband, but overall it sounded like she was doing much better when freed from the shackles of the liberal welfare state?

  12. Ron says:

    Unfortunately, many in the black community now have a “world view” that has created a belief system that they are opporessed and have grievences against the white establishment. The politically motivated “Black Industrial Victimhood Complex” has supported and profited off the white racism that are projected onto anyone who is white (and not liberal). There will not likely be a change in that world view until their belief system changes to one that is optimistic, virtuous, creative, and a spirit of self-reliance and personal responsibility. Liberals are not bad people, they just don’t understand that the “Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions.”

  13. Brian Williams. says:

    Great post, Dr. Goodman.

    Science suggests that poverty can cause brain damage in babies. Hence, expanded economic opportunity not only benefits people more than almost anything else we can do, it can also help increase one’s score on the AFQT.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/desc.12079/abstract

  14. Vince says:

    The post is regarding the racial impact of liberalism but the concepts go farther. People, liberals, parents etc, perceive the benevolent policies and acts are helping a group or person but in fact they are setting them back. I employ many young people and the attitudes of entitlement are great. Parents have held these kids back by not giving them the opportunity to stand on their own and prosper. Same can be said of the liberal policies with regards to race, gender, poverty on and on.

  15. Floccina says:

    But the lack of economic progress by the black community as a whole is in many ways the result of the liberal economic policies. On balance, liberalism has been an obstacle to black progress, not a help.

    Being pretty classical liberal, I would like to believe that but then how do you explain the fact that of the most desirable 2,000 jobs in the USA about half of them are held by blacks. The NBA, NFL entertainment and even right now the presidency. How do explain that liberalism holds blacks back in schooling but not in sports and entertainments?

    Would it not be more likely that due to their past or for other cultural reasons, blacks do not put as much effort into schooling as non-blacks do? Maybe blacks are more interested in their children enjoying their youth and who could blame them if that is the case?

    • Frank Timmins says:

      Floccina, Blacks in the NFL, NBA, entertainment, etc. earned their way into these high paying jobs with performance against legitimate competition.

      This isn’t always the case in business (or education) where artificial standards have been established by liberal ideology (affirmative action). Not only have these efforts proved ineffective in enhancing the workplace value of blacks, they have been patently unfair to whites in the educational and business environments as well. The poster child for this type of ideology is occupying the white house as we speak. In other words, if a person does not earn one’s way and is advanced for ulterior reasons, it usually ends badly for all.

      Also, I would throw in the liberal sacred cow of “multiculturalism” as a major reason for black unemployment. There is nothing like encouraging less than acceptable mores of a group if you want to keep that group marginalized, “under control” and out of the mainstream.

  16. Ron says:

    Maybe blacks are more interested in their children enjoying their youth and who could blame them if that is the case?

    You gotta be kidding or just liberalism “thinking” gone amuck. The problem with the lack of minority educational achievement and job advancement is the breakdown in the black family and the lack of child rearing attention.

    Solving poverty is easy as A-B-C:

    A. Graduate from high school
    B. Don’t have a child until at least 21 and married
    C. Get a job, any job

    With these three easy to sytate but hard to live by life commitment, the chances of living in poverty at about 2%.

    With this as a focus we could eliminate poverty in a generation. We could reignite the American Dream of upward mobility for all, especially those most in need.

    I call this a person-centered community concept that should appeal to any existing political ideology. That is, if one truly wants to help fellow human beings and not just grab for political power.

    • Roger Waters says:

      Right on.

      As “they” say:
      - Each generation should pay its own way.
      - Each family should pay its own way.
      - Each individual should pay his own way.
      - Only after passing through these three filters, should anyone turn to the government for help. – See more at: http://healthblog.ncpa.org/medisave-accounts-in-singapore/#sthash.hQ5wyGRX.dpuf

      Seems like common, human-sense?

    • Al Baun says:

      @Ron

      Your solution, of ABC, is correct. Therefore you must agree with liberal legislation that address all three.

      A) Nuberous liberal laws are in effect to assist all Americans with gaining at least a highschool education.

      B)Liberal legislation helps fund Planned Parenthood and other groups which assist with family planning and reducing unwanted pregnancies.

      C)The Stimulus and subsequent liberal programs have reduced unemployment dramatically from the highs of the Bush recession. There would be more liberal leading legislation if the obstructionist conservatives would cooperate in Congress.

      I’m glad that you are at least a liberal thinking individual.

  17. Ron says:

    In your dreams Al.

    A. Government schools do not serve the poor and disadvantaged. Liberal policies protect the teachers unions not the students. Liberals fight school choice and even Obama removed the private school funding in DC.
    B.Planned Parenthood was originally founded to kill black babies and prevent the population growth of minorities. With funding support and liberal votes they have succeeded in killing more black babies than any racist organization.
    C.The recession ended in the summer of 2009, before the stimulus program was even implemented. This “recovery” has been the slowest in modern history with minority unemployment double white unemployment. Remember 2010 and VP Biden’s “summer of recovery?”

    Your statements that indicate such strong support of liberal policies that have clearly failed is a fascinating study of human intransigence and blind following of an ideology that imprisons millions of lives. No, my friend, I do not have liberal thinking – I have logical thoughts that know we can and should do better with conservative solutions to the mess liberals have created.

    • Al Baun says:

      @Ron
      The point I am trying to make is that the opportunity of a basic education, the opportunity to prevent unplanned children, and job opportunities are the desires of most Americans, not just conservatives or liberals … and both parties have had their legislative successes and failures in these arenas. In addition, one person’s success is another person’s failure … perspective is usually unproductive to discuss.

      WRT your last post, I can understand why liberals shy away from funding private schools with public tax dollars, feel that reproductive rights are as private as gun rights, and can acknowledge that capitalism needs a life preserver from time to time. Even Bush understood that when he tried nearly $300 billion in two separate stimulus programs before he jumped ship. So there is plenty of finger pointing to go around. However, my support is neither to the left nor the right, it is to the ideas that have the audacity to attempt to remedy social ills. It looks like Obamacare might just work after all. http://kff.org/

    • RW says:

      Ron, agree with you totally. Just did not have time to refute the obvious misunderstandings apparent in Al’s comment. And frankly was a little aghast at the naïveté.

  18. Ron says:

    Al, you say – “I can understand why liberals shy away from funding private schools with public tax dollars”

    I say – “I can’t.” How bad does it have to get before you accept that parental choice in education is better than a gov’t mandate. If you could only go to one grocery store in your neighborhood, would you get the same quality produce and competitive prices.

    You say – “(I can understand) and feel that reproductive rights are as private as gun rights”

    I say – I believe in LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. There is a reason LIFE is the first right. It is the most important and should have priority over all others. If one does not respect the 1st right granted by our Creator, one is unlikely to respect the other rights. I believe life begins at conception and has the right to LIFE. The female has the right to choose NOT to get pregnant. Would you at least agree to the point of a heart beat, or recognition of fetal pain?

    You say – “(I understand) and can acknowledge that capitalism needs a life preserver from time to time.”

    I say – That may even be partially true, but liberalism and modern politics has done more than provide a life preserver…it has provided a noose to strangle free enterprise. A system that has lifted more people out of poverty and misery than any other system in history.

    • Roger Waters says:

      Ron,

      Agree totally with your response.

      Also, it appears Obamacare is not working, based on the facts (just yesterday IBM announced it was dropping coverage for all retirees, who now can’t get the benefits they had before. In spite of the liberal leaning KFF “spin” that it “might work after all.”

    • Al Baun says:

      Ron,

      Do you at least agree with the premise that ‘The the opportunity of a basic education, the opportunity to prevent unplanned children, and job opportunities are the desires of most Americans, not just conservatives or liberals?”‘

      Since you can’t have your way and since you’re ignoring my point and wish to drift into your personal ideology, then let’s play…

      1) Education – Public monies should go to public schools. State’s Constitutions provide for free public education for all of its residents (legal or otherwise). If the curriculum and quality don’t mesh with your personal peccadilloes, then send your children to private school on your own dime. I don’t want my tax dollars to support your children going to charter/private/home schools.

      2) Reproductive Rights – Your Pro-Legislative/Anti-Choice sentiment and speech is guaranteed under the first Amendment; however, it is the same tired extremist rhetoric and has little to do with reality. Our SCOTUS has acknowledged personal protected rights to determine whether someone carries an embryo to term or not. If you are tied up in the abstinence/heartbeat/fetal pain arguments, then I suggest that you don’t get an abortion; otherwise, let others practice their protected rights. If your argument is religious in nature, you should notice that Mr. Jefferson used the word “their Creator”, and not your “our Creator” in the DOI as you wrote. This implies that certain rights exist, but the origin of these rights is left to one’s personal views. Again, enjoy your right of choosing your own personal Creator.

      3) Jobs – [Liberalism]“the noose that strangled free enterprise.” If you were to review which party has contributed more jobs to our free economy (war machines excluded), I think you will find liberal fingerprints all over it. If you interpret ‘national elected officials instituting ideas and safeguards for the Welfare of the American people’ a noose, that sounds like a kid whining simply because he can’t do what he wants, when he wants, and to hell with the consequences. Free Enterprise is Alive and Well thanks to both liberal and conservative legislation.

      • Frank Timmins says:

        Al, you are responding to Ron, but I can’t help myself. With regard to jobs, could you please refer me to the “fingerprints” of left leaning legislation that has created jobs (in the non-government sector)? As a time saver you may want to not mention any of Obama’s failed alternative energy boondoggles. Jobs with bankrupt companies don’t really help.

        • Al Baun says:

          When reviewing ‘jobs’, one should compare unemployment rates during (or resulting from) particular administrations. Though Regan’s high unemployment rates are tough to hit, Bush Jr. got close. If you review the sources cited by this article, you will find that the overall unemployment has been higher under Republican administrations. Thanks for your concern, but Ron should do his own homework.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unemployment_in_the_United_States

          • Frank Timmins says:

            Sorry Al, that doesn’t work. Taxpayer supported jobs don’t count as job creation (unless your name is Fidel or Stalin). Let’s try to stay on point here. There are no secrets concerning the lower unemployment rates during the Bush years vs. Obama’s reign.

            • Al Baun says:

              If you would have taken the time to review the article and sources you would have realized that it normally refers to non-farm private employment, not government. Here is another article for you to ignore that shows government jobs tend to shrink under liberal administrations and grow under conservative. http://archives.politicususa.com/2011/08/24/big-government-obama-reagan.html

              Yes, Obama was able to reign in Bush’s runnaway unemployment (currently heading below 7%) and stabilize the economy, despite the efforts of our obstructionists in congress and the dried up ones on the edge of the saucer. 2014 is approaching rapidly … time for a full Demy again to get things done.

              • Frank Timmins says:

                Good grief Al. Do you think you can use Politicus USA as a fact source? Your comments defy common sense regardless of how you try to spin the facts.

                • RW says:

                  Frank you’re right and Al’s, well, weird, and not even worth replying IMHO as his thin assertions defy logic. At least the utopia dreamers from Kennedy school that worked with me on the Hill could form a cogent argument?

                • Al Baun says:

                  You guys are funny. When backed into corners [by weirdoes], you simply start insulting and dismissing sources of information, of which the Politicus article was the OPM and Wiki was Dept of Labor. You need to be able to look at the information, not how the messenger dresses. Ron was the only one with good sense to back off.

  19. Ron says:

    Al, I’m not sure if I have the “good sense” that you mentioned or just “common sense.”

    You asked – “Do you at least agree with the premise that ‘The the opportunity of a basic education, the opportunity to prevent unplanned children, and job opportunities are the desires of most Americans, not just conservatives or liberals?”

    My answer – YES, YES, YES

    That was my original point! There are goals that every American parent should want for their children to get ahead and have a shot at the American Dream. Remember that concepts – Upward mobility for all. Parents living for their children to do even better than they did.

    My observations are that liberal policies to achieve these goals have produced the opposite. Conservative approaches to produce upward mobility have been lost in the politics of wealth redistribution rather than wealth creation, and a culture of dependency rather than personal responsibility.

    I always agree with my liberal friends on the goals of helping those most in need and sufferring the maladies of life. However, by supporting and subsidizing nearly 30% of the country means that we can not effectively help those in real need (over 100M are currently receiving some government transfer payments: food stamps, housing allowance, WIC, Medicaid, Obama phones, etc.). By continuing the current liberal (yah, socialist) policies we have not helped but hurt the ones we both would want helped.

    I know these blogs can not change minds so consumed and reinforced in your liberal echo chamber of selective information, so I will now exit the discussion and let your thoughts consider things like:

    1. School choice (call it High School Pell Grants). Could you support helping students get a better education in alternative schools in the inner cities where many schools have clearly failed and less expensive private or parochial schools have succeeded (BTW leave the savings in the public school system.)

    2. The history of Planned Parenthood (would you support the KKK if they provided contraceptive counseling?). Can you support the elimination of partial birth abortions?

    3. Minimum Wage and its effects on young people trying to get on the ladder to success. Could you support a lower split minimum wage for those under age 18?

    It should be the opportunity for both conservatives and liberals to agree on some new approaches to these intransigent generational problems of poverty.

    I only hope that those with your thinking will someday realise that they are hurting the ones they seek (or at least profess) to help, and your votes are only supporting politicians interested in retaining power – not helping those in need.