President Obama was sworn in for a second term on Sunday, re-enacting the rite on Monday so he could leverage the attention of a traditional news day.
Obama makes a good speech. He intones “We, the People,” with a pause in the middle: “We . . . the People.” He tells us to seize the moment.
But I’m not at all sure he’s seizing — or sizing up — the facts. He says, “we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.” As I understand it, those who do very well have increased in number. Many folks have moved out of the middle-income earning category into the upper regions. We’ve more millionaires now than ever — even adjusted for inflation. Their ranks aren’t exactly shrinking.
Many of us are struggling, though. And we struggle under the watch of a general “progressive” mindset. You can’t blame income trends on the “free market.” Though some sectors of the economy are pretty free — the important new technology sector, for instance, and much of consumer retail — the medical and financial sectors are heavily regulated and managed by government, and the housing market has been transformed by multiple government policy initiatives. And here, with these three institutions, is where we’ve taken the biggest hits.
And where some of the worst effects on the poorer amongst us can be felt — and where the biggest pro-rich policies can be seen. Think bailouts, for starters.
The Progressives long ago seized the epoch. The necessity of the moment is to seize it back from them. Their policies of government intrusion and management have rigged the game to get us where we are now.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.