Liberals Use New words To Cover Mistakes
Norwich Bulletin Published: 20 September 2011
In societies governed by persuasion, politics is mostly talk, so liberals' impoverishment of their vocabulary matters.
Having damaged liberalism's reputation, they call themselves progressives.
Having made the federal government's pretensions absurd, they've resurrected a supposed synonym for the government, the "federal family." Having made federal spending suspect, they advocate "investments" for "job creation"- a euphemism for stimulus, another word they have made toxic.
Barack Obama, a pitilessly rhetorical president, continues to grab the nation by its lapels, demanding its attention, and is paying the price: The nation is no longer listening. This matters because ominous portents are multiplying.
Bank of America, which reported an $8.8 billion loss last quarter, plans to lay off 30,000 out of a workforce of nearly 300,000. The Postal Service hopes to shed 120,000 of its 653,000 jobs (down from almost 900,000 a decade ago). Such churning of the labor market would free people for new, more productive jobs - except that to reduce unemployment, the economy needs an approximately 3 percent growth rate, triple today's rate.
Consumers of modest means are so strapped that Wal-Mart is reviving layaway purchases for the Christmas season. The Wall Street Journal reports that Procter & Gamble, which claims to have at least one product in 98 percent of American households, expects hard times for a long time: It is putting new emphasis on lower-priced products for low-income shoppers.
Administration wrong As events have refuted the Obama administration's certitudes, the administration has retained its insufferable knowingness.
It knew the stimulus would hold unemployment below 8 percent.
Oops. Unemployment has been at least 9 percent in 26 of the 30 months since the stimulus was passed.
Michael Boskin, of Stanford, says that even if one charitably accepts the administration's self-serving estimate of jobs "created or saved" by the stimulus, each job cost $280,000 - five times America's median pay.
Obama's administration, which is largely innocent of business experience, knew its experts would be wizards at investing taxpayers' dollars.
Oops. After receiving more than half a billion stimulus dollars in loan guarantees, bankrupt solar-panel maker Solyndra has shed nearly all of its more than 1,100 workers.
The economic policy the "federal family" should adopt can be expressed in five one-syllable words: Get out of the way.
Instead, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, whose department has become a venture capital firm for crony capitalism and costly flops at creating "green jobs," praises the policy of essentially banishing the incandescent light bulb as "taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money."
Better to let the experts in his department and the rest of the federal family waste other people's money.
Email Will at firstname.lastname@example.org.