Why the low jobless rate challenges Left and Right
The latest jobless rate — 4.7 percent — is at a five-year low.
Yet, despite this and other good economic news, the Left is frantic to repeal the Bush administration’s tax cuts. In fact, even if every single economic indicator were better than at any time in American history, the Left would still want to repeal the tax cuts.
The reason is that the essence of the Left is ever bigger government for the purpose of controlling ever more of the economic and social life of society. That America is so much more economically efficient than the major socialist countries of Europe, such as France and Germany, is of no concern to Democrats and others on the Left.
Even a child would readily understand that the more of their money citizens are allowed to keep, the more money they will spend and the more workers they will hire. But liberals want high taxes not in order to improve the economy, but in order to expand government and reduce economic inequality. Therefore, the obvious economic benefits of lower taxes do not much interest liberals.
The socialist economies of the major European countries are failing — the French and German economies are stalled, and the entire socialist system is unsustainable — but this, too, has no impact on the Left in America. The future they want for America has actually been tried in fellow Western democracies and is failing. To invert the famous statement of Westerners who praised communism, "We have seen the future and it doesn’t work." One wonders if ever before in history such a large number of people had such a clear view of the consequences of their policies, and despite the failure of those policies, continued to devote their lives to enacting them.
And the Left thinks religious Americans are irrational.
That is why the language of liberal condemnation of tax cuts is that they are "tax cuts for the rich" rather than that they are "bad for the economy." It is resentment of the wealthier — and most productive — sector of America that animates liberal opposition to tax cuts, not concern about unemployment.
But the unemployment data not only challenge the Left. The record low jobless rate also challenges a widely held belief of many on the right — that illegal immigrants have been taking jobs away from Americans.
There are excellent reasons to be concerned about the vast number of illegal immigrants in our society. But their taking jobs from Americans is not one of them. If we have historically low unemployment rates while at least 11 million illegal immigrants are here, how many jobs have these people really taken away from Americans? What would our unemployment rate be if we had no illegal workers here? One percent? And wouldn’t our inflation rate be higher without millions of people working at such low wages helping to keep consumer prices low?
It must be emphasized that while just about everyone on the left is opposed to what they describe as "tax cuts for the rich," many on the right do not argue that illegal immigrants have taken jobs away from Americans. But an energetic segment of the Right does.
And they do so despite what the conservative Washington Times reports: "The economy appears to have achieved what analysts call ‘full employment’ — a state where nearly every worker who wants a job can get one fairly easily."
How, then, does the whole Left and a significant part of the Right argue things that just aren’t so — that tax cuts are bad for the nation and that illegal immigrants have taken millions of jobs from Americans?
The answer is that passion often trumps reason. The Left is passionate about inequality and ever larger government. And the Right is passionate about America remaining American.
I share the Right’s passion and agree with the conservative voices that argue for (1) building a fence to prevent millions more from illegally entering America, (2) creating a national ID card, (3) making English the official language of the United States (thereby ending, for example, ballots being printed in myriad languages), and (4) ensuring that American schools Americanize foreigners rather than celebrate multiculturalism (if all cultures were equally wonderful, millions of Mexicans wouldn’t be leaving theirs to live in ours).
But those of us who are very worried about the demise of American national unity, identity and security need to argue about those things, not about illegal immigrants taking millions of jobs from Americans.
And those on the left need to cheer the unemployment data. But they can’t do that until they love the low unemployment figures even more than they hate George Bush and his tax cuts.
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