Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez 2/13/08

Populist Presidential candidate Obama is sounding more and more like the President of Venezuelan. I reprint an article from an interview with African-American renowned economist, author and columnist, Thomas Sowell about his new book, "Economoic Facts and Fallacies":

Q: What is an example of a fallacy from your book?

A: "One is the income gap between the rich and the poor. It's maddening to me to keep hearing how the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and so on. The fundamental difference is the difference between talking about abstract statistical categories and talking about flesh-and-blood human beings. Since my book came out, for example, there has been a study released by the Treasuary Department based on income tax returns. There they are talking about following the same human beings over a span of years, which is wholly different from following income brackets over a span of years, because in all the brackets more than half the people change in the course of a decade. So what happens to a bracket is an abstract question, what happens to the flesh-and-blood human beings is different.

For example, for the flesh-and-blood people who were in the bottom 20% of taxpayers in income in 1996, their average increase in income over the next decade was 91%-so they almost doubled their incomes. Meanwhile, for the people in the top 1%-presumably the rich who are getting richer-their average declined 26%. That's diametrically the opposite from what we are hearing from nearly every newspaper and practically every political platform.

But of course it's also true that if you look at the income tax brackets, the distance of the top bracket from the lowest bracket has increased. One reason is that the very lowest tax bracket is zero, so it can't go any lower. So as you pay people more and more money and as the economy grows and skills become more sophisticated, obviously the ratio from the top to the bottom is going to increase."

I have great respect for Thomas Sowell, Juan Williams, Colin Powell, William Strawberry,the columnist, Ward Connerly and thousands of other great black leaders. In the Journal Star we get the likes of Robinson and Pitts, both usually highly prejudicial. We did at one time have Sowell and Strawberry. Most of us would prefer them over some of the present JS columnists. Keep Goldberg and Parker,they report fairly.

Almost every time Obama talks, he strikes out against the rich. He intends to take from those who are capable of making money, who invest it, provide jobs to people who also want to make money, produce something of benefit to the general well-being of a nation, educate and train those who are willing to learn and work, grow the economy, enhance our quality of life and protect us from those who wish to do us harm. He wants to TAKE from the rich and spread it evenly among the whole of Americans and illegal immigrants. (Sure, some make more money than they are worth or can justify. It's the government's job to see that they make it legally and if not crack down hard. The government has had many successes, but admitedly, the wealthy can afford better lawyers. Fortunately, most of us learn early that life is not always fair).

Obama is like a work of fiction. A Robin Hood riding to the rescue of the supposedly downtrodden and those who are in true need. There is a difference. Most all of us try to support those in need in many different ways but not by taking but rather by giving. It may soon be too late to wake up from his demogoguery, his play acting and charm. Be very, very wary of this man. What he is saying is very real, and what many are believing is fiction. This is no sitcom or soap.

People are chanting "we want change" and so do I. but Obama and his chief supporters will disappoint all but those who wish to blame others for their problems and change this country so it will go backwards into socialism; the way many other great nations have gone. A way NOT acceptable to most of us.


Peoria AntiPundit said...

You sound bitter Merle.

Anonymous said...

Merle is not a bitter man, but a rather intellectual one; but, Merle, I suggest you are dead wrong on Obama. Naturally he is for the little guy, but who isn't, except Hillary and McCain (look at their pasts). Can you imagine what this country will turn into at the hands of either one of them? Give Obama four years to turn this country around, if he doesn't , we can get rid of him by voting him out.

Maco said...

Saying that Obama is anything like Chavez is absurd. Chavez IS a radical now! Obama, just an idealist. This is a really extreme and ridiculous assumption.

Merle Widmer said...

Thanks for your comments. I listen to Obama on TV and read as much about him as I have time. He may be an idealist in wanting to pull the troops now but that is a radical idea. If our former presidents thought it best to have all our security people home, they would have done it far before even Bill Clinton.

I too am disappointed in some of the arrogant wealthy elite but Obama's inclusive comments such as he made in Colorado (sometimes home of radical college professor, Ward Churchill), a month or so ago, that almost all big businesses are corrupt and about how he would redistribute wealth, are extremely worrisome.

I do not believe that this country OWES EVERYONE a job and and a living income.

Whoever is elected, I will support same as I did George Bush. But I would never vote to elect Bush again even though he has done a lot more right than wrong. He doesn't get much credit for many of the things he did and is doing right such as keeping this country basically free, so far, from foreign terrorist attacks since 9/11. I am more in fear of local terrorists than foreign ones.

But, yes, I am sometimes bitter about the unfairness of life for a majority of us; maybe everyone is bitter about something at some time. I was born and lived on farm until I was 19. Folks from small farms and relatively poor, were identified as country hicks' by many city folks.

When I first came to Peoria and tried to borrow money, the loan officers wanted to know my "lineage". Being the son of a not wealthy but hardworking, honest farmer, didn't impress them much.

I know some things have changed since then but we learned early that you make your own way and accept that not everybody is equal. We were taught at home and in school that life is not easy. Once I fully understood that, I became proud to say I was "born on a farm".

AdamB said...

Life is not fair? That's your answer?

Of course it's not fair! That's why we work to try to make it more fair!

The way things are is not always the way things should be.

Anonymous said...

do a search on Liberation theology, this is a Marxist ideal which is what Barak Hussain has been taught for the past 17 years and sat there sayin "amen" to his pastor until recently he wanted no allegiance. Now, Chavez does not have the same religion but is a Marxist like Nobama.

Anonymous said...

I am from Venezuela and I can completely assure you that Barak Obama is getting every day more and more similar to Hugo Chavez. I live in the US and can not believe all the similarities between the 2 men. I have seen my own country going into a process of detrition in all levels, starting with the economy and finishing with the moral. I would hate to see any comparable situation happening in a country like the United States which has always been a role model for Democracy and Development. What a shame...

Don Simkovich said...

I'm reading these comments after Obama and Chavez shook hands 3 times at the summit. I wonder if Obama respects Chavez?

JD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JD said...

Wow, this obscure blog just hit pay dirt with the recent summit in Latin America. Here's what frustrates me about your article Merle:

1.) You complain that Obama is taking from the rich to give to the poor when, in fact, the dwindling American middle class is attributed to the contrary effect from the past decade. While not all wealthy are culprits, their is an abusive wealthy elite who have taken from the working middle class. Remember trickle down economics? In this country, conservative government policies have actually been established in which the government actually made the rich richer, when in fact they shouldn't have been involved whatsoever. But whatever, here we are now. If you don't want to help the poor, then -darn it- don't help the rich either.

2.) You compare Obama to Chavez based on their rhetoric even going so far as to say "they're sounding the same," when it's political policies that indeed define a politician.

I'm not sure where you're from Merle, but please before you post, respect the English language and edit some more. On a personal note, if you're from Latin America, where the middle class is nearly non existent, then being super wealthy and having a servant in your house is common, and if your on the benefiting side then it probably feels great! But for the servant, their pursuit of happiness is null and void. The glory of the US has been the strength of our middle class. Even historically initial visitors from the UK to the colonial states were astounded at the general health of all Americans and their ability to obtain relative ownership as compared to countries where serfdom applied. It's even said that the British naval fleet that sunk the grandiose Spanish Armada was powered by the will of well-trained and motivated sailors while the Armada ran on regularly whipped slaves. Can you see the connection?