Last week I expanded on the notion that the poor are “comparatively few in number, and the laws don’t bind them together by the ties of irremediable and hereditary penury.” This week I will continue on that and then speak about the U.S in world affairs
As the great economist and social critic Thomas Sowell has demonstrated time and again, it is still the case that the poor in America “are comparatively few in number.” And except for the black underclass—whose size is generally estimated at somewhere between two and ten percent of the black community and whose plight has thus far resisted every attempt at alleviation over the past 50 years—it is also true that penury in the United States is neither irremediable nor hereditary. As Sowell shows, of those who live on the next rung of the economic ladder, more of whom are white than black, only three percent get stuck in the bottom fifth of the income distribution for more than eight years.
Elaborating on Sowell’s analyses, the economist Mark Perry writes:
In the discussions on income inequality and wage stagnation, we frequently hear about the “top 1%” or the “top 10%” or the “bottom 99%” and the public has started to believe that those groups operate like closed private clubs that contain the exact same people or households every year. But the empirical evidence . . . tells a much different story of dynamic change in the labor market—people and households move up and down the earnings quintiles throughout their careers and lives. Many of today’s low-income households will rise to become tomorrow’s high-income households, and some will even eventually be in the “top 10%” or “top 1%.” And many of today’s “top 1%” or top income quintile members are tomorrow’s middle or lower class households, reflecting the significant upward and downward mobility in the dynamic U.S. labor market.
No such mobility can be found in any of the member countries of the European Union, or anywhere else for that matter. Even in the dismal economic state our nation has fallen into today, it is still exceptional where the degree and the distribution of prosperity are concerned. But to this, modern liberals are willfully blind.
With all exceptions duly noted, I think it is fair to say that what liberals mainly see when they look at America today is injustice and oppression crying out for redress. By sharp contrast, conservatives see a complex of traditions and institutions built upon the principles that animated the American Revolution and that have made it possible—to say yet again what cannot be said too often—for more freedom and more prosperity to be enjoyed by more of its citizens than in any other society in human history. It follows that what liberals—who concentrate their attention on the relatively little that is wrong with America instead of the enormous good embodied within it—seek to change or discard is precisely what conservatives are dedicated to preserving, reinvigorating, and defending.
A similar divide separates liberals and conservatives as to the role America has played in world affairs. Consider the many apologies President Obama has issued for the misdeeds of which he imagines Americans have been guilty in our relations with other countries in general and the Muslim world in particular. Never mind that the United States has spilled blood and treasure to liberate and protect many millions of people from the totalitarian horrors first of Nazism and then of Communism, and that since 9/11 we have spilled yet more blood and treasure fighting against Islamofascism, the totalitarian successor to Nazism. And as to the Muslim world in particular, never mind that, as the columnist Mona Charen puts it, “of the last six wars in which the United States was involved (Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya), four were undertaken to rescue Muslims and the other two (Afghanistan and Iraq) had the side benefit of liberating Muslims —to what end remains an open question.”
Over the past 80 years or so, we had to deal with Nazism, Communism, and now Islamofascism trying to take over the world, though we had dealt with Islamofascism in one form or another since the 1780’s. We had always been the world’s savior, so to speak, with Nazism and Communism, and for the past 12 years some people had put the blame on us for the rapid rise of Islamofascism since the attacks on September 11, 2001. With everything that is happening in Europe with the expansion of Sharia Law, I think we are ultimately the last stand in the world in preventing it, no matter how hard Obama is trying to change that with his apology tour and whatnot. If we want to keep America exceptional as WE know it, we need to continue to be the shining light for hope and capitalism in the world.