The November Presidential election will resolve a conflict of Romney’s and Obama’s vision for America in many ways, but the conflict between the two candidates’ vision of how to save and promote the prosperity of the middle class is particularly poignant. The task of analyzing and gaining an understanding of the two visions has been made easier thanks to two current books that offer revealingly cogent explanations of the respective visions of Romney and Obama. The task is made easier still by a just released review of both books titled The Middle Class and Its Enemies by Fred Siegel of City Journal. Mr. Siegel’s essay reviews the implications of It’s the Middle Class, Stupid by James Carville and Stanley Greenburg; and Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities, by Stanley Kurtz.
The books themselves many be mostly of interest to pundits and policy wonks but ordinary voters can benefit from insight into the two opposing points of view, and Mr. Siegel’s review makes that possible with less effort than plowing through the combined 542 pages of the two books. I’m always reluctant to invest the necessary time reading a book that will soon become irrelevant upon the occurrence of some pending event, and the election is going to send at least one of these books to the bargain table at book stores where it will likely be offered for pennies and not dollars. [but see note below on one of these books]
“Raging Cagun” Carville and Democrat pollster Greenburg try, quite unsuccessfully in Mr. Siegel’s view, to make the case for Obama as the great savior of the middle class from the ravages of the rich. This is the big government approach, based upon the theory that only a big government is powerful enough to stand up to the rapacious greed of the robber barons that are systematically impoverishing the middle class.
In stark contrast to the Carville thesis Stanley Kurtz’s book shows Obama to be the destroyer of the middle class by his constant attacks on their prosperity which he blames for the poverty of the inner city. Blaming suburban prosperity for urban poverty, Obama’s solution is a great redistribution of wealth from the suburbs to the city. He hopes to do this by incorporating the suburban tax base into the cities thus affording the cities access to the taxes paid by the middle class who have fled the cities to escape crime, high density, congestion, and all the other problems associated therewith. When they left they took their tax dollars with them, quite unfairly in Obama’s view. He means to rectify that.
Left out by Stanley Kurtz, Mr. Siegel explains the Marxist roots of the Obama plan:
Kurtz never mentions it, but regionalism is an extension of the Third World–centric version of Marxism developed in the mid-1950s by U.S. economist Paul Baran. Trying to account in Marxist terms for the deradicalization of the Western working classes, Baran argued that the developed world’s prosperity had been purchased at the price of the Third World’s impoverishment. The rise of once backward countries, such as South Korea and Taiwan, undermined Baran’s argument. Nonetheless, it took on new life in the hands of Obama’s Alinskyites, looking to explain away the failures of their community-organizing campaigns to improve the conditions of the black inner-city poor—even as nonwhite immigrants were climbing the American social ladder. The regionalists could have pointed to the collapse of the black family, but that would have left them with no one to shake down for their programs. They found a target-rich environment in the well-to-do suburbs.
It’s always seemed a great mystery to me how anyone can believe anyone else ever became rich by stealing form the poor, who by definition do not have much for anyone to steal. Of course, there is a great exception. One sure way to become rich by stealing from the poor does exist. If you are a Marxist dictator with the power to steal the pennies that the poor have to offer, and if you have enough poor people, you can turn their pennies into millions of dollars for yourself. Fidel Castro, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung, proved it and Hugo Chavez is a current practitioner of that philosophy. Barack Obama could, if he were ultimately successful, surpass all of them. Perhaps that explains why Obama has already added greatly to the ranks of the poor in America.
I said one of these books will become irrelevant once the election is over. Actually, it is the Carville and Greenburg book that will become irrelevant no matter the election results. The Kurtz book, ironically, will probably hit the top of the best seller list if Obama wins a second term. This is because Obama has not yet set his plan for robbing the suburbs to pay for the cities into action. It has been largely reserved for his second term. If he ends up getting a second term Mr. Kurtz’s book will become a must read for those hoping to understand what is happening to them.
Note on the Stanley Kurtz book: It will never make it to the bargain table because no matter the outcome of the election it will remain an erudite and informative explanation of leftism and redistributionist social policies that will always be of interest to students of socialist schemes.