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Dear Mr. President

During the State of the Union address, President Obama stated, “Americans understand that some people will earn more than others, and we don’t resent those who, by virtue of their efforts, achieve incredible success” [1]. Now, while I don’t expect the President of the United States to respond to a mere plebian like me, I still have some questions about what he meant by this statement.

Mr. President, you state that Americans understand that some people will earn more than others. I assume that means that you also think Americans have at least a rudimentary understanding of skilled labor versus unskilled labor and the value of experience. Why, then, Mr. President, do you advocate for paying unskilled laborers in minimum wage positions the same wage as someone that has a job that requires a college degree? In your opinion, why should an unskilled 16-year old starting at McDonalds earn as much as a lab technician or Head Start teacher with a bachelor’s degree? How is it equitable to have someone invest in an education just to earn what a completely unskilled laborer can earn?

Mr. President, I’m also confused by your assertion that you don’t resent those who achieve incredible success. This seems to be quite at odds with some of the things you and your campaign said about your opponent, Mitt Romney, in the last election. If you don’t resent people for working hard and being successful, why would you try to bully them into releasing their tax information to the public to make them look bad? At the time, Mr. President, it sure seemed like resentment of Romney’s wealth and success played a big part in your strategy to win a second term. How do your friends in the Occupy Wall street movement feel about your newfound acceptance of people who are incredibly successful?

Maybe, Mr. President, if you get a minute, you could give us some clarification.

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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in Economics

 

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If Wishes Were Horses

Last week brought us the State of the Union Address, the annual accounting that our President is required to give before Congress about the condition of our country. Instead of being frank and declaring that the state of our union is not so great, the President instead chose to prevaricate, embellish, distract, misrepresent, and bend the truth back and forth until it snapped.

He claimed that corporations are doing a booming business, with profits that have “skyrocketed to all-time highs” [1]. I’m sure this came as a great surprise to companies like Kodak, Hostess, US Airways, and those like them who have recently declared bankruptcy, as well as all the other businesses who are laying off workers and lowering wages to stay afloat.  He also claimed that raising minimum wage will cure poverty, that women still don’t earn as much as men and that he is going to fix it, and that universal pre-school will be what saves our failing education program.

In reality land, however, raising minimum wage is not an effective solution to treat poverty, for more reasons than we have time to discuss. Women already do earn equal pay [2], and there is no evidence that pre-school makes a long-term difference in academic performance in children [3]. In fact, most of his proposed “reforms” lacked verifiable facts to back them up, and read like a far-left political platform.

Obama’s “Santa Claus Platform,”[4] as Rand Paul describes it, is much like what goes on at Santa’s North Pole. It promises something for nothing, it’s more about warm feelings and pleasant fiction than reality and facts, and the free labor and goods are imaginary. Much like the generosity of St. Nick, Obama’s promises that his plans will not cost us “a single dime” [1]. And if you believe that, I’ll cut you a deal on this bridge I own in Brooklyn.

 
 

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