John Edwards, in a line that may well top off his political epitaph one day, famously said that there are “Two Americas”. He was referring to the literal and metaphorical gulf betweenr America’s “Haves” and “Have Nots”. He didn’t note that there are also two Indias, two Phillipines, two Frances and two Argentinas, but Edwards has never been one to let eternal truths of the human condition get in the way of a sound bite.
Conservatives accept these gulfs, recognizing that talent, innate applied intelligence, hard work and just-plain-luck and the lack of them will put people in one America or the other. At the same time, most see a moral obligation to cut down the hurdles and obstacles between the two – especially the exits from “Have Not” America.
The left, on the other hand, has always sought to make life in “Have Not” America at least superficially less onerous, all the while making “Have” America a refreshing oasis for those who spend their days dwelling on the plight of the “Have Nots”. Their rationale isn’t much different from the one that royalty accepted in years past; the responsibilities of taking care of ones’ inferiors justified life’s little luxuries, and the big ones as well. In big ways (the USSR’s kommissars shopped at special stores and lived in special housing while the proles waited in line for bread and crammed entire families into studio apartments) and little (count the number of anti-Second-Amendment celebs who’ve used their connections to get themselves and/or their bodyguards concealed carry permits), the left constantly squirrels away perks for their fellow “haves”.
Since the bloom is finally coming off Obama’s electoral rose, it’s time to catalog the Administration’s, and the Democrats’, attempts to make “Have” America a nicer place for those who take care of all of us peasants.
- The Peasant Plan: The Obama Administration is trying, inexorably, to force “the American street” into a “public” (read: socialized) healthcare system.
- The “Haves” Plan: Congress and their union benefactors are making sure it (and its benefactors) are exempt from Obamacare. Expect the rest of the elites to follow suit.
- The Peasant Plan: The Obama Administration wasted no time in cutting DC’s wildly-successful school voucher plan. And Obama’s Democrat allies around the nation are busy trying to roll back charter schools, open enrollment laws, voucher plans and school choice in general, in particular in the communities that need them most, the inner cities and the various Indian reservations; while these plans are often wildly successful, they sap jobs from the teachers’ union – and that’s much more important than educating the children. To be fair, it is a jobs stimulus plan – for public school teachers. Not to mention all the people who’ll have to deal with the failure of our public school system. And India and China.
- The “Haves” Plan: Being “Haves”, they send their kids to private schools (or, for the lesser “haves”, to public schools in areas with fewer of the social problems caused by three generations of using the inner city as a warehouse for other “have nots”.
Vices and Sin
- The Peasant Plan: The Administration promises to tax tobacco to help pay for Obamacare. OK – Obama, a smoker, might eat this one, but cigarettes are usually the opiate of the declasse masses.
- The “Haves” Plan: I’ve heard nothing about taxes on plastic surgery or trips to Martha’s Vineyard.
- The Peasant Plan: McDonald’s – the fine dining of choice for middle-class Americans who judge restaurants by whether there’s a playland for the kids to run around in – stands to get taxed back to the stone age.
- The Peasant Plan: Soda pop – the cheap
opiatecaffeinate of the masses – is in line for punitive taxes.
- The “Haves” Plan: Starbucks – home of the fat-bomb froux-froux coffee beverages that fuel the Administration’s kids’ all-night policy-mongering sessions – goes forth blissfully untaxed. Live and latte live, I guess.
- The Peasant Plan: “Clunkers” – affordable used cars – are actively harassed off the road via “Cap and Trade” energy taxes, implemented to attempt to force people off the roads and into cramped, perpetually-late or broken-down public transit systems.
- The “Haves” Plan: Hybrid vehicles – which are presently hideously expensive to buy, and moreso to maintain, and are thus the province of the well-off - are subsidized.
- The “Haves” Plan: The “haves”, being haves, live where crime is relatively low.
- The Peasant Plan: The “have nots” will, in Obama’s perfect world, have no access to firearms to defend themselves. It’ll work as well as it does in DC and Obama’s home, Chicago, where gang violence makes the Windy City more dangerous than Baghdad these days.
- The Peasant Plan: “Cap and Trade” should make all forms of heating and cooking subject to federal legislation, and make owning a home north of Nebraska more expensive than penthouses in the Eighties in Manhattan.
- The Peasant Plan: Obama’s proposed National Building Code will make attempting to buy, renovate or live in older, “affordable” houses prohibitively expensive for middle-class families. Indeed, “building codes” serve little practical purpose other than to restrict the supply and affordability of housing.
- The “Haves” Plan: No word on whether John Edwards and Al Gore’s carbon-belching mansions will be covered by the National Building Code.
It’s good to be king, isn’t it?
[UPDATE: This post is cross-posted at Hot Air]