by Rob Schwarzwalder
December 23, 2013
In a compelling piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, economist and Chris Christie advisor Robert Grady describes that he calls the President’s “obsession with equality” and argues that the real solution to our bumpy economy is economic growth. As Grady notes, if Mr. Obama really wants to end economic disparity in the nation, “Accomplishing this worthy goal requires growth, not redistribution.”
(1) We cannot have the kind of growth Mr. Grady rightly calls for unless we have enough people. The sad but indisputable fact is that our quantity of workers is shriveling. My colleagues at FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute have demonstrated this is several key studies . The American family is in crisis due to divorce and cohabitation; abortion claims about 3,000 unborn lives each day. We cannot sufficiently manipulate federal tax and spending policy to redress these trends. The only way is for one man and one woman to marry, for life, and have three or more children. This is consistent with FRC’s view of the value of human personhood and the centrality of the traditional family unit, yes - but it is also demonstrated by the undeniable facts.
(2) That many Americans are struggling cannot, and should not, be denied. But there are a lot of misconceptions about what constitutes inequality, prosperity, and opportunity; the bottom line is that most ordinary families are faring relatively well. Pounding on the theme of “inequality” creates a measure of social resentment that will provoke unwarranted and dangerous federal intervention into the private marketplace, already too prey to the intrusions of the state (e.g., Obamacare, a confiscatory tax regime, etc.).
(3) It is ironic that Mr. Obama is so fixated on what he views as income inequality given his denial of the essential premise of the American republic, that all men are created equal. “The combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American Dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe,” he said in his December 4 speech on the economic disparity theme. As noted above, Mr. Obama both misstates the case and proposes policies that will only increase the power of the government at the expense of private enterprise and personal achievement. Yet beyond his rather standard “enlightened” critique stands a devastating paradox: If unborn persons have value independent of their mothers, if they are, in fact, persons, how does advancing a grim and relentless pro-abortion agenda, as does our President, assure the equality he says he so favors? It doesn’t, of course; abortion is inherently discriminatory, elevating the will and power of one person over another. It is the celebration of the worst kind of inequality, the taking of the life of the weaker by the stronger.
If Mr. Obama wants to be taken seriously by economists, entrepreneurs, and social conservatives alike, he needs to remove his reactive Left-liberal lenses and look at the economy, and what makes for the growth thereof, realistically. And if wants to be taken seriously as a moral leader, he needs to jettison his dogmatic agenda of elective abortion-on-demand. Let’s pray to that end in 2014.