Some years ago I came to the conclusion that the economic policies espoused by progressives and liberals, and eventually enacted as government policies by the Democrats, were not based on the principles of economics, finance, or even common sense. Instead they were based on the magical principal of fairness. The theory goes something like this: once everything is “fair,” once the playing field has been leveled, once there are no more economic advantages and disadvantages between individuals that can be blamed on flaws in the system, then everyone will magically begin to prosper. And as long as fairness is maintained, prosperity will be unending.
I suppose a related corollary would be that we have never had continuous prosperity simply because the free market is set up so that only a select few (“the rich”) continuously benefit. When only a few continuously benefit, then the masses remain mired in poverty; thus they remain unhappy and are therefore easily provoked by “the rich” into doing all sorts of evil things like fighting wars and oppressing one another. So it should follow that if fairness is established, then unpleasant things like violence, hatred, racism, intolerance, etc. should also come to an end. (Of course “the rich” will desperately fight this reform because they want to keep both their money and their control over the working class. Their main weapons in the war to preserve evil are the the “military-industrial complex,” the Republican party, and talk radio.)
Since the free market is actually controlled by “the rich” it can never “fairly” distribute wealth to everyone. So ultimately “fairness” becomes the primary responsibility of the government. And that’s what we’ve witnessed during the last six weeks — a massive plan to transfer wealth from the “haves” to the “have nots,” leveraged by a massive debt load created under the assumption that the plan must work, simply because the smartest elites in the country faithfully believe that it will. And when “fairness” is finally achieved (or as closely attained as the elites deem possible) the economy will magically recover, the debts will be paid off, everyone will be happy, and the elites will endlessly congratulate themselves over how clever they are.
But I wonder — how many rank-and-file Democrats (or Ivy Leage elites, for that matter) truly have faith in these ideas? How many of them are willing — using Warren Buffet’s phrase — to go “all-in” and wager their entire financial security, with no hedging or “safe bets” in the free market, on the notion that this scheme will work?
Over in the comments to HughS’s post on Warren Buffet’s latest shareholder letter, regular WizBang commenter Mac Lorry has proposed that all Democrats who really believe in their party’s borrow-spend-tax-redistribute policies should ” …take vacations, buy a new car, large screen TV, and remodel your home.” He concludes,
If you voted for Obama and don’t support him with your own spending then you are an economic chickenhawk.
I wholeheartedly agree, plus I think that this notion is a very effective counter-argument to the perpetual “if you don’t support tax increases then you hate the poor” rhetoric of the Left. So Democrats, start wildly spending your own money. Charge up your credit cards. If massive tax increases and government debt are guaranteed to produce a healthy economic recovery, then you have nothing to lose.