But the message from the Democats (and their MSM outlets) has been the same since 2000. Things are BAD! Poverty is INCREASING! DOOM DOOM DOOM! You foolish people out there only think you are content!
Don't you know that there are people in this very country who are richer than you are? There are even (gasp!) people who are smarter, more talented, and happier than you could possibly ever be!
Is this fair? Is this something that we have to put up with in our politically correct, culturally diverse, and oh so egalitarian society? You don't have to be satisfied with life, liberty and only the pursuit of happiness-- WE CAN GUARANTEE HAPPINESS FOR YOU!
The Democratic Party is there for all you unhappy people, carefully and considerately stoking the fires of your envy and greed. Ironically, they manage to do this, all the while proselytizing with their trademark intellectual and moral superiority against the wickedness and selfishness of our materialistic/capitalistic society.
Only in the incredible wonderland of their benevolent neo-marxist uptopia is it possible to have your cake and eat it too.
Did you actually listen to James Webb give the Democrat's rebuttal of the SOTU the other day?
The man is so immersed in class envy and socialist bullshit, he's literally drowning in its nonsense. Of course, the left couldn't be more pleased by this knee-jerk political response by the useless Democrats, still stuck in the quagmire of a mid-20th century ideology that could never deliver on any of its promises.
But hey! Class warfare is a well-trod path to power. Look at Hugo Chavez. Having duped the peasants of his country into a state of perpetual envy and entitlement, he now is poised to dupe them into endless, perpetual Hugo-ness by making himself their Dictator for Life! I mean, isn't that so cool?
No wonder the left loves him so. He's very good at what he does. They undoubtedly envy him and wish they had his cojones.
Gagdad Bob has this to say on the Democrat's blatant use of class envy to stir up the masses (so they will be sure to vote for them):
In his response, Jimmy Webb suggested that "Someone left the economic cake out in the rain, all the sweet green money flowing up. When one looks at the health of our economy, it's almost as if we are living in two different countries. Some say that things have never been better. The stock market is at an all-time high, and so are corporate profits. But these benefits are not being fairly shared."
Wo, wo, wo, time out, bucko. What are you hiding under that wig? "Fairly shared?" What's that supposed to mean? This is news to me. I am invested in the stock market. True, some of my mutual fund picks have been less than sterling, but it never occurred to me that it's someone else's fault -- that I'm not getting my fair share! Wahhhhhhhh!
But let's say I am intrigued. I like what I am hearing from this man Webb. My envy has been piqued. And exactly how are liberal politicians going to ensure that I do get my fair share -- whatever "fair" means? Why, they'll take away some of that wealth and create economic conditions in which less wealth is created for all! Of course, it will have no effect on my economic well-being, except to reduce it. However, if it also reduces my envy of those who are wealthier than I am, then I guess it's worth it.
Here is a type of "thinking" that would never occur to a Raccoon. It would never "cross our mind." Or, if it did, it would cross right through without ever nesting there: "When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it's nearly 400 times. In other words, it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day [this is a lie he just made up, by the way]. Wages and salaries for our workers are at all-time lows as a percentage of national wealth, even though the productivity of American workers is the highest in the world."
My fellow Coons, do you smell what I smell? Let's pause for a moment to sniff this insane and disgusting approach to economics to try to understand just how spiritually rotten it is. We are not to live our lives from "within," to simply enjoy our life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the real world. No. Rather, we are to calculate the percentage of national wealth that we possess, and live our lives in the darkness of this meaningless and abstract imaginary world.
You see? You only thought you were content. But you were fooling yourself! You're not content at all. Liberals are here to remind you of this. Be honest. Envy is eating away at you. Something must be done to satisfy this envy. Someone must pay. Someone must be punished. I want some of Nancy Pelosi's millions! Her wealth must be fairly shared with me! I want my wife to have hundreds of thousands of dollars of plastic surgery so she too can look like a blinking corpse!
It is Nancy's God-given American right to have as much Botox as she wants--but, what about all those other aging boomers? Why isn't there a government program that provides Botox injections to those too poor or too embarassed to obtain it? Is it fair that she should look like she's been recently embalmed (I mean this in a good way) and others cannot tap into this new fashion trend unless they have money?
Aristotle said that envy is pain at the good fortune of others. It doesn't matter that you have everything you might need to survive--or even survive very well. Like the murderous thug Rocco in Key Largo, you can never be satisfied if others have something you don't--you want more.
And, failing to achieve that goal, it's enough for your pathetic little soul to make sure that no one can ever have more than what you have; because it is physically and emotionally painful for people like Rocco to observe someone who has more possessions, more money, more brains, more skill, more luck... more anything than you do.
The intense emotional envy that is necessary to implement all the various socialist ideologies of the left is potent emotional stuff. One might even think of it as a powerful and addictive "opiate of the masses". Essentially, envy is a drug that erodes a person's sense of responsibility for his or her own life; drains them of initiative and substitutes entitlement and petulance; and results in a regression to a passive, childish dependence on their Great and Dear Leaders.
And isn't that what Webb is proposing? Trust the Great and Dear Democrats! We'll take care of you little guys and make sure you always have as much stuff as those big guys! As long as there is someone, somewhere who has more than you, you can't possibly be happy.
Of course, since they cannot create wealth themselves, they propose to achieve this utopia by taking stuff away from all those big guys so they don't have as much. You, yourself, won't actually get anything more than what you have now--but once they drag down all those who even think they're better than little ole you, things will be much more fair and equal.
And you'll feel so much better; so much more content when everyone else is as bad off as you are. Just ask the poor saps who lived in the 3rd world country formerly known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Or those in the worker's paradise of Cuba or the future worker's paradise of Venezuela. Or the happy little muslim elves of Iran and those floundering to eke out an existence in the productive totalitarian economies of the Middle East.
The politically correct left heaps scorn on business, capitalism, free trade, and globalization; and instead glorify and praise the most primitive and barbaric of cultures and cultural practices. They denigrate and revile those who create and produce wealth and worship with religious fervor those who cannot, encouraging the latter's psychological envy and resentment because those emotions can be used to further their own power.
So they make their useless promises to "redistribute" wealth and call it "social justice". As Bob suggests in an earlier post, they come for the egalitarianism, but stay for the bestiality and tyranny they unleash with their "progressive" ways.
If they really cared about helping the poor; if they really cared about social "justice"--then they would shut the hell up and get out of the way of those evil, greedy capitalistic bastards, who, as they pursue their own selfish, profit-making agendas; effortlessly manage to increase the standard of living and improve the lives of everyone around them.
But, today's social engineering Democrats could never be content with that economic reality.
UPDATE: Here is an interesting take on and analysis of some of the issues I am talking about:
Last night, President Bush's State of the Union address and Senator James Webb's Democratic response provided a useful juxtaposition of views. Among other things, it showed how the parties' positions on poverty have changed.
To wit, President Bush's proposals tend to target various aspects of what might be called absolute poverty. By contrast, Sen. Webb is interested in relative poverty....
President Bush has proposed an array of policies that confront different aspects of real deprivation as experienced by the poor here and abroad: bad education, lack of legal status and fear of deportation, lack of health care and disease. Of course, also critical to poverty alleviation is the ongoing success of the US economy, which, as the president mentioned, has created 7.2 million jobs since the beginning of the current expansion. Jobs are both the best way out of poverty and, as presidential aspirant John Edwards has said , a source of "dignity and self-respect." By calling for a balanced budget in five years, without raising taxes, President Bush made a bid to preserve a business climate in which prosperity will continue.
While the president is interested in dealing with specific aspects of poverty and deprivation, he is not interested in the position of poor people relative to others. Senator Webb is. "When I graduated from college," remarks Senator Webb, "the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it¹s nearly 400 times." Or again, "Wages and salaries for our workers are at all-time lows as a percentage of national wealth." In each case, the statistic he cites is a ratio: the average worker's wages compared to those of the CEO; wages and salaries compared to national wealth. That the average worker is much wealthier in absolute terms than he was thirty years ago does not seem to interest Webb much: what matters is that his relative wealth has decreased.