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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Everyman Economics

"Mandatory wealth redistribution." That phrase either warms your heart, or sends shivers up your spine. No other issue better demonstrates the difference between conservative thought and progressive thought. Conservatives argue for equality of opportunity while progressives argue for equality of result.

Equality of opportunity is value neutral, but the argument for equality of result requires a belief that anyone who thinks differently is somehow supporting evil. It's in the handbook.

For example, Steven Pearlstein in the Washington Post takes Senator Baucus (D-MT) to the rhetorical woodshed for not being a "real" Democrat. Why? He's not onboard the wealth redistribution train.

With Wall Street hot shots and corporate chiefs raking in obscene amounts of money, and with pay in the bottom half of the workforce barely keeping up with inflation, you'd think raising the minimum wage for the first time in a decade would be a political and economic no-brainer for the new Democratic Congress.

But you'd be forgetting about Max Baucus.


You'd think Baucus would have learned his lesson in 2001, when he won the enmity of Democrats everywhere by striking the deal that led to passage of the Bush tax cuts, including the phase-out of the estate tax. Apparently not. For on the very day the new Democratic House is set to push through a long-overdue minimum-wage increase, over in the Senate, Baucus has called a hearing on how to offset the "economic hardship" caused by the higher minimum wage with yet another round of business tax breaks.


Real Democrats know that raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do -- economically, politically, morally.

[Emphasis mine]

What did Baucus do to deserve this excomunication? He dared to disagree, therefore he can't be a "real" Democrat. Pearlstein brands the senator from Montana as inauthentic and morally suspect. For conservatives, economic policy is mostly amoral, but for progressives it's a religion, and woe to the Democrat who strays from his faith.

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