In a recent radio interview on government-subsidized NPR, Barack Obama, while attempting to portray Donald Trump as a racist, inadvertently raised a good question all Americans should consider – seriously and somberly.
Obama said Trump was exploiting resentment and anxieties among working-class men, suggesting this was directed at him – the first African-American president.
Obama acknowledged that incomes have been “flat-lining” because of his policies and that “particularly blue-collar men have had a lot of trouble in this new economy, where they are no longer getting the same bargain that they got when they were going to a factory and able to support their families on a single paycheck.”
“You combine those things, and it means that there is going to be potential anger, frustration, fear – some of it justified, but just misdirected,” Obama said. “I think somebody like Mr. Trump is taking advantage of that. That’s what he’s exploiting during the course of his campaign.”
For the purposes of this commentary, I will just disregard the phony racism charge Obama has used since he first began running for the presidency in 2007. He used it against Bill and Hillary Clinton then. He has used it against every one of his critics since. And, when he’s not using it, his apologists are.
Instead, I want to focus on a very important economic issue raised by Obama. It’s one so-called “progressives” don’t want you to think about, so they seldom raise it. Obama only did because he wasn’t using a teleprompter while visiting the friendly media confines of NPR – National Panhandler Radio.
Obama alluded to something very important here: Once upon a time in America, most families could not only subsist on the paycheck of one working parent, they could flourish – even save money. It wasn’t even that long ago. It was the case just a generation ago.
How was that possible?
What happened to the American economy in such a relatively short period of time that rendered it so difficult for even one parent to stay home with the kids?
And, how as that a good thing?
In the 1970s came the women’s liberation movement. It was going to represent a panacea for women – and men and children – we were told.
Women were convinced they were going to live up to their dreams by entering the workforce in massive numbers and have it all – careers and kids. With the additional income their families had, they could hire childcare or maybe even give their husbands an opportunity to take on that role.
But, as usual with utopian economic ideas, it didn’t work out that way.
Instead, taxes rose, government spending rose, borrowing by government and families increased, inflation rose and, after 40 years, families have less disposable income than they previously had.
This is just one example of how the “progressive” sounds-too-good-to-be-true ideas turn out to be, well, too good to be true.
As more women entered the workforce, demands for subsidized childcare increased because government was the only beneficiary of the extra income. Of course, that was the plan all along. It’s why government so enthusiastically embraced the idea. That’s because, ultimately, at the end of the day, “progressives” love for government to be empowered. It’s never about individual choice with them. It’s about expanding government power over the lives of individuals because government knows what’s best for us all.
Thus, we are rapidly approaching a time when as many people work, directly or indirectly, for government as work in businesses not dependent on government contracts or subsidies – a la NPR.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that women don’t have every right to work! They always have. My mother worked. My wife works. I have five daughters, and four of them who are old enough work.
But, sadly, most families don’t have more disposable income because both parents work. They actually have less.
Only the government has more.
Do you get it?
Media wishing to interview Joseph Farah, please contact email@example.com.