Where is modern civilization heading?

As a society are we heading in the same direction as the ancient Romans? If so the question becomes.......

Are our leaders fiddling while civilization burns?

While we ponder the question I will post my personal thoughts on this blog. Often I will focus on current events that catch my interest, however I am not and do not pretend to be a news organization. I'm simply a guy with his own thoughts on issues that I believe affect our country and society.

Be forewarned, I have been accused of being a right wing thinker and if that is offensive please move on. Remember, this is my blog and my opinions, and unlike many facets of our already over-governed modern society they are not being forced on anyone.

However, please feel free to leave your comments, good, bad or indifferent, after all this is a free society we live in (at least for now).

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Obama's Sleight Of Hand Is Quicker Than The Eye

With the Republican Primaries heating up south of our border in preparation for a November Presidential race you can expect to see a great deal of positioning from both Republicans and Democrats in the upcoming months. Although Obama has not officially kicked off his campaign  for re-election there is no doubt what so ever that he and his team are laying the ground work.

I suspect the Republican nominee will hammer away at the President's dismal record over the last three years knowing full well Obama will have little chance of defending it as the facts speak for themselves. So the Obama teams strategy so far has been one of redirection, something that any good magician or politician knows all too well. In magic (like politics) a vital component to a magician’s sleight of hand is the redirection of the audiences attention from what they are inevitably trying to catch you doing. Unfortunately the re-direction that Obama and his team are employing may result in may result in America being torn apart. How so?

The redirection that I refer to is the introduction of "Class Warfare", the pitting of one group of Americans against another and the more frequent use of terms such as  "Income Inequality" or "Fair Share" by Obama and his inner circle. To be fair (no pun intended), Obama did not create this concept, there have always been a few that felt life had dealt them a poor hand and were envious and bitter towards those that had acquired more than they had. At one time in America this was a very small minority, and when an individual complained about "how unfair life was" or "that the rich got all the breaks" they were usually told by friends and family to get an education, put their nose to the grindstone, work hard, and someday they could have everything they wanted too. However over the last few decades this feeling of "injustice" has become more vocal and accepted, in part due to the fact that society has bred a feeling of self entitlement into many individuals from birth via growing social programs as America continues to become more of a "Nanny State". This was clearly evident in late 2011 amongst the Occupy movement and it's followers who felt "they have a right" to everything from seeing their student loans and personal credit card debt forgiven to being entitled to a "fair share" of the wealth that another individual had worked a lifetime to acquire. Why? because they have been led to believe that they deserve more simply because they exist.

Now, lets get back to Obama who has never been one to let a good crisis go to waste. He immediately recognized the Occupy movement for what it was (to the point of lending verbal support). An opportunity to distance himself from the current economic mess America is in and lay all blame right at the feet of a group of Americans who are in the minority and a very easy target, the wealthiest 1% of the population. So as President, rather than extinguish the fires of discontent, he promptly threw gasoline on them. Here are a few quotes from Obama and his crew.

"I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, and when everyone plays by the same rules."  December 2011 - President Obama
The underlying message here is that not everyone is being treated fairly and some are cheating through not contributing or simple not following the rules.

"The economy would be in better shape and aggregate demand would be stronger if the size of the middle class had not dwindled as a result of rising inequality," January 2012 -Alan Krueger (Top financial adviser to the President Again we see the use of "Class" and "Inequality" and a "rising inequality" being identified as the culprit for directly reducing the middle "class" and the poor shape of the economy.  Personally I prefer the term "middle income earners" when referring to an individual or grouping people based on nothing more than earnings as I don't believe that either Canada or America has "classes" of people. This is not India where individuals are judged by nothing more than their "caste" something they are born into and have little hope of escaping, however if Mr Obama succeeds it may just as well be.

"No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important, We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules." January 2012 - State of The Union Speech - President Obama
Pretty apparent where he hopes his redirection will keep voters focused
, this ones hits all of his talking points.

One of the things that is often not noticed or commented on is how careful the Obama team are to avoid using one term to "categorize" all people. While they never hesitate to use the term "Middle Class" they avoid using the terms "lower class" (in Obama speak this is "low-income") or "upper class" (wealthy or "The 1%" when Obama drones refer to them), as they fully understand the potential negative connotations either of these terms can have. Equally as important is that they fully understand what a powerful image terms like "wealthy" or "the 1%" create with no further explanation required.

Now what is interesting about all of this is that Income Inequality has actually decreased since the year 2000, it all depends on what you use as a yardstick. We often hear how unfair it is CEO's of large corporations literally earn hundreds of time the wage that the average worker does. Well interestedly enough a comparison performed by
America's largest federation of trade unions the AFL-CIO (not generally a CEO's best friend) clearly shows that the difference in earning between average CEO and average worker pay has been plummeting in the last decade

Looking at the above chart you will notice that the gap peaked in the year 2000 while America was under the stewardship of President Bill "I Fell Your Pain" Clinton when the average CEO was earning 525 times more than the average worker. At the other end of the spectrum it was at it's lowest in the Reagan years of "Trickle Down "economics at a factor of 42 times earning. But what is really interesting is that in the decade between 2000 and 2009 it decreased by about 50%! So, is this proof positive that Obama is just blowing smoke when he talks about Income Inequality? Not at all, but it is proof positive he is only showing voters the numbers he wants them to see (a little sleight of hand).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Here at Dwindling Empire we welcome your comments. Although we ask that you refrain from profanity, sexist, racist, or comments of a sexual nature.

However you can poke fun at Frustrated Joe all you want, but we warn you if your going to disagree with him try to do so with some facts, this will garner you a lot more respect from everyone.
Greatly Appreciated