There is a saying that is as true as it is old: “Life is unfair.” Some people are born taller, some people are born smarter, and some people are born into money. Regardless of these differences of birth, life allows us to make our own choices and to transcend the circumstances that we have been born into in pursuit of a better life. However, another worldview is becoming popular in the United States.
The modern Left sees inequality as an example of oppression, and oppression must be stamped out by the government. According to the Left, the role of the government isn’t to protect our freedoms and ensure equality of opportunity to allow a pursuit of lasting prosperity. Instead, the role of the government is to ensure the equality of an outcome at the expense liberty and reality. Renowned economist Thomas Sowell has called this worldview “a pursuit of Cosmic Justice”.
An idealized vision of government as an arbiter of all matters of life from social norms to inner thoughts is dangerous. This worldview has taken the Left down a path that ultimately leads to a loss of freedom for all.
Inequality of Outcome
The Left views inequality of outcome as an example of discrimination and bigotry. The attempt to use the government to combat the inequality by creating policy that hopes to create a fairer environment for the poor, but results in life becoming harder for everyone.
The passage of Obamacare was meant to make healthcare more affordable for all (especially lower income Americans), but instead lead to rising premiums, a loss of doctors, and entire states losing health care providers due to excessive regulation and cost of operation. Many on the Left participate in marches for higher minimum wages such as the Fight for $15. Once passed, it lead to a loss of full-time employment, higher rates of poverty and the failure of businesses (especially smaller businesses).
Perhaps the most devastating of the Left’s measure to “Fight Inequality” came in 1992 when the Clinton Administration made an expansion on an existing housing bill and mandated that banks give 30% of their loans to lower income borrowers. While aimed at allowing lower income people the opportunity to afford mortgages or higher-quality housing, it resulted in millions of dollars being loaned to unqualified borrowers. This caused the subprime mortgage crisis and by extension the economic crash of 2008.
The Source of Inequality
With the reality of ineffective and dangerous policies constsntly looming, the Left have also chosen to focus their energy at pointing the finger at those who are better off and decrying them the source of inequality.
Popular leftists such as Bernie Sanders claim that the wealthiest 0.00001% can only get rich by ripping off the poor, but if you liken this claim to getting full from eating off an empty plate, the assertion simply doesn’t make any sense. The wealthy don’t get wealthy by taking money from people without any. The wealthy increase their wealth by providing goods and services that people choose to purchase.The greater the wealth, the more people who value the good or service that brought an individual to prominence.
Some of my college classmates who hold disdain for the rich because they see the rich as “keeping their thumb on the poor” would do well to study history. Most private universities in the 19th century were founded by supposed robber barons like Carnegie and Rockefeller. My own university is named after A.J. Drexel, a 19th-century banker and financier.
However, this reality won’t stop the Left from pursuing their vision. Entire groups have been labeled as “privileged” and unable to understand the effect their existence has on the poor. Lagging groups have all the semblance of personal responsibility relieved as the Left promulgates that a person’s lot in life isn’t a result of their actions, but a result of some faceless, nameless group calling the shots. This view causes those without to believe the rich should have their wealth confiscated.
Leftists propose such absurdities as 70% income taxes on the wealthy or even taxpayer funded subsidies to groups according to the Leftist hierarchy of desire. This worldview becomes reality for those on the left, and pointing out logical inconsistencies becomes hate speech.
The Silence of the Opposition
The Left views its cause as a battle of life and death, so much so that it is becoming more and more violent in defense of its crusade. To even attempt to discuss causes of inequality that aren’t racism or sexism are considered blasphemy and are often met with violence.
Many conservative speakers have had to cancel talks on college campuses under threat of violence from incensed Leftists. Free Speech has been relabeled as hate speech, and many universities are banning words and talking points from campus lexicon for fear of offending some. Slogans such as “punch a Nazi” are becoming commonplace, and speakers who champion for free speech and equality of opportunity are being misidentified as Nazi’s. This is extremely dangerous because it creates unnecessary and inaccurate prejudice.
The Left is sending the United States on the road to becoming a totalitarian regime by attempting to give the federal government a vast amount of power to regulate wealth and income, demanding that the silencing of speech deemed to be unfavorable or prejudicial in some way, and increasing its use of violence as a tool of “protest.”
Wealth was seized in countries like the Soviet Union, Maoist China, and Communist Cambodia. Any opposition to these regimes were met with a Russian gulag, a Chinese firing squad, or in the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge. The left view such power as good in the hands of Saints Sanders or Warren, but fail to realize that the next Stalin is right behind them.
By giving unlimited power to the government, sacrificing our freedom for the sake of equality, and by betraying liberty at the altar of big government, the Left’s continued crusade against reality will bring us one step closer on the road to serfdom.