By Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor
As President Obama gives yet another speech defending his tyrannical takeover of America’s healthcare system, news reports now say that “income inequality” will be a big part of his and his party’s campaign for the 2014 Congressional elections.
President Obama and Democrat leaders are bringing out the same tired old mantra about an alleged income gap between the Top 1% and the Bottom 20% in society.
Obama and his party’s leaders get all this liberal, crypto-commie claptrap from leftist extremists like Robert Reich, President Clinton’s former Secretary of Labor.
Movieguide® (www.movieguide.org) recently reviewed a documentary (INEQUALITY FOR ALL) produced by Reich and his friends at the Weinstein Company, who are huge supporters of the Democrat Party, including huge supporters of Mr. Obama.
INEQUALITY FOR ALL is a one-sided, simplistic documentary featuring Reich. The movie basically offers Reich’s Neo-Marxist, socialist attack on the free market and conservative solutions to economic downturns and the current economic malaise. It offers none of the counter arguments and facts against Reich’s position, so it’s not a real “documentary.” Instead, it’s really just deceitful propaganda. Other than higher taxes, stronger labor unions, more money for education programs that haven’t worked, and more welfare, the movie points to a website for ways to support and enact these general solutions. The website also wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour(!!!), which will just raise prices and increase unemployment.
Reich’s mantra throughout INEQUALITY FOR ALL is to stand up for those he feels are being “economically bullied” in the U.S. economy, the poor, the middle class, and workers. He purports that a strong middle class keeps an economy stable, which is true enough. But he wonders why, then, does there seem to be a growing disparity between the average worker’s income and that of the Top 1%? Reich also points to a statistic showing that the average money income level adjusted for inflation has remained flat since the late 1970s while that of the Top 1% has skyrocketed.
During INEQUALITY FOR ALL, Reich asks three questions: 1) What is happening with the distribution of wealth in America? 2) Why? 3) Is it important? As he begins to answer these questions, various people are interviewed who are either in the middle class, unemployed, or in the Top 1% of the wealthiest people in America. He claims that many middle class families are struggling – even those in two-income households. Over the years, he claims, the middle class has tried to cope with this income stagnation by 1) women going to work; 2) men and women working more than one job and/or longer hours; and, 3) borrowing more, going into higher debt, and taking equity out of their homes.
The production quality in INEQUALITY FOR ALL is good. However, the filmmakers don’t interview even one expert who disagrees with Reich and can support their position with logical arguments and other facts. Two of the best in that arena, of course, are two top black economists, Thomas Sowell, author of ECONOMIC FACTS AND FALLACIES (Basic Books, 2011) and BASIC ECONOMICS (Basic Books, 2010), and Walter E. Williams, author of MORE LIBERTY MEANS LESS GOVERNMENT (Hoover Institution Press, 1999) and RACE AND ECONOMICS (Hoover Institution Press, 2011).
Sowell points out in ECONOMIC FACTS AND FALLACIES that people who make up the Top 1% changes from year to year as people move in and out of that bracket. The same thing goes for the Lowest 20% that Reich mentions, Sowell notes. For example, he says, between 1996 and 2005, more than half of the people in the bottom 20% had left the Bottom 20% (page 140). Sowell also points out that, while money income adjusted for inflation rose only 6% from 1969 to 1996, the average real income per person rose by 51%? How can this be, he asks? Because the average number of people per household has declined over the years! In fact, higher real incomes allow people to live on their own, away from relatives. There also has been, of course, a decline in the birth rate. Americans are simply having fewer children. Sowell adds that all of these income statistics leave out the amount of money, subsidies, loans, etc., people receive from their state government and from the federal government. They also tend to leave out health insurance and retirement benefits people receive. Finally, Sowell notes that, if you set aside executive salaries in the financial sector, which tend to be among the highest because they’re based on stock performance, executive salaries aren’t as high as Democrats like Barack Obama and Robert Reich say. He also notes that none of these politicians, or their radical liberal friends in Hollywood and in professional sports complain about high salaries for Hollywood stars and studio/network executives or football, baseball, and basketball superstars (see Chapter 5 of Sowell’s book, on the myth of income inequality, including high executive salaries).
In an article published in the Deseret News on Nov. 9, 2011, “Raising corporate taxes ends up hurting the workers most of all,” economist Walter Williams specifically addresses Robert Reich’s opposition to reducing America’s high corporate tax rate, which is giving an unfair advantage to our competitors in other countries with lower corporate tax rates. Williams rightly notes that high corporate tax rates are not only passed along to consumers. They are also passed along to shareholders in the form of lower dividends, and many of these shareholders are actually retired people over age 65. Higher corporate taxes also depress worker wages, Williams notes, adding, “A number of economic studies, including that of the Congressional Budget Office, show that workers bear anywhere from 45 to 75 percent of the corporate tax burden.” You can read Williams’ argument against Robert Reich’s defense of high taxes on the rich, including capital gains taxes and corporate taxes, at www.deseretnews.com/article/700196001/Raising-corporate-taxes-ends-up-hurting-the-workers-most-of-all.html?pg=all. See also “Robert Reich’s War on Global Capital” by Jon N. Hall at American Thinker at www.americanthinker.com/2013/06/robert_reichs_war_on_global_capital.html.
One-sided, deceitful leftist documentaries like INEQUALITY FOR ALL and leftist liars like Robert Reich are extremely dangerous. They mislead many, many people. The social policies of socialist lefties like Reich have created poverty and destroyed societies, even to the point of mass murder. Contrary to what Reich says, tax cuts have been a great benefit to millions of Americans, in the 1920s, the 1960s, the 1980s, the 1990s, and the first decade of the 21st century. They actually created more jobs, higher salaries, better benefits, and much prosperity.
If you don’t believe me, look at the unemployment figures following the 1990s tax cuts pushed through by Republican Newt Gingrich and the tax cuts under President George W. Bush in the previous decade. Unemployment went to 4.4% in 1998 and even 3.8% in April 2000. Under Bush and the Republican Congress after 9/11, unemployment went down to 4.4% in December 2006 before the Democrats took over Congress with the super-majority that passed Obamacare (http://portalseven.com/employment/unemployment_rate.jsp?fromYear=1980&toYear=2013). In the wake of Obamacare, unemployment has wavered between the current 6.7% to 10% in October 2009. Furthermore, despite the decreasing unemoployment rate, the Guardian newspaper in England reported on Jan. 10 (http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/10/us-economy-adds-74000-jobs-december) that the number of Americans looking for work is at its lowest level since the 1970s. You do the math!
Also, regarding education, the federal government has spent billions more on education in the last 10 years, but test scores have remained flat (see www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/03/us-test-scores_n_4374075.html). In fact, as author and professional pundit Dennis Prager recently noted, if you get a high school diploma, get a job, get married, have children, and go regularly to church or synagogue, your chances of leaving the Bottom 20% and becoming part of the middle class skyrockets enormously. I would add that hard work helps too. As Proverbs 10:4 says, “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Or, consider Proverbs 14:23, which says, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” And, education is useless if it’s not accompanied by God’s wisdom and a heart that’s Born Again.
Thus, it’s not the free market that causes poverty, much less some kind of alleged “income inequality.” No. The free market actually creates jobs, creates prosperity, and helps people get out of poverty. It also created the American economic engine that won two world wars and ended the Soviet Union’s socialist oppression of Eastern Europe. It also created such economic powerhouses as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
In contrast to all that, President Roosevelt’s socialist government programs extended the Great Depression in the 1930s and President Johnson’s Great Society in the 1960s halted the decline of America’s poverty rate. And, President Obama’s spending increases and convoluted healthcare law have extended the current economic malaise.
As Dennis Prager pointed out, it’s not the free market that creates poverty, halts prosperity, or stops people from leaving the Bottom 20%. It’s bad values!
Parents need to know what kind of people teach their children and teenagers in the public schools and at college. Sadly, Robert Reich now teaches at the University of California at Berkley. Even more sadly, Barack Obama is going to be president until January 2017.
Of course, parents also need to be aware of what movies their children watch, whether in the classroom, at the movie theater, or on home video. Only Movieguide® (www.movieguide.org) has the kind of information on which parents and their children can rely.
The mass media creates the culture that shapes and controls society. So, please join Movieguide®’s crusade to change the entertainment industry, fight bad movies like INEQUALITY FOR ALL with good movies, and transform the culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, including its defense of private property mixed with private charity, hard work, personal responsibility, and family values.