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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 29, 2011 30 Elul 5771

Postmodern Class Warfare

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When President Obama's polls hit 40 percent approval, he fumed at "billionaires and millionaires," "fat cat bankers" and "corporate jet owners." In his sloppy targeting, Obama doesn't care much that a billionaire has 1,000 times more than a millionaire -- or that his new tax proposals will take a lot more from those making $200,000 than from the tiny few making $1 million.

Instead, the president is in a populist frenzy to rev up his base against "Them," who supposedly "are not paying their fair share." The president's argument apparently is not that the top 5 percent haven't paid enough taxes. Indeed, they pay almost 60 percent of all income taxes collected, while nearly 50 percent of households pay no income taxes. Obama seems angry that the top 5 percent will still have more money after taxes than do others, and so they should pay a redistributive government still more taxes.

But 21st century class warfare is a weird thing.

Take the technology that gives most what only the few once could afford. Most Americans now expect as a birthright iPhones, iPods, laptops, DVDs and big-screen televisions, thanks to cheap overseas fabrication and fierce price-cutting global competition. The typical welfare recipient now owns a sophisticated cell phone; a fat cat corporate CEO not long ago did not.

For the president, riding on a private jet from New York to Los Angeles is supposed to be privilege. But a poor person on a discount nonstop ticket can still get there as safely and almost as quickly for about one-thousandth of the cost in fuel and overhead. Once they land minutes apart at LAX, was the Gulfstream passenger all that blessed, the guy in steerage with headphones and a TV screen all that deprived?

The president believes that those who make more than $200,000 are synonymous with millionaires. But such income levels are not good barometers of wealth in a world where graduated taxes can eat up to 50 percent of a salary, and high-income areas have sky-high housing costs. Some of the less well off go to school for near free on scholarship packages to state universities. Other students pay $200,000 for a four-year private college -- sometimes for the prestige of the degree rather than any quantifiably better education. Nor do we talk about off-the-books labor, where millions earn money without reporting either income or sales receipts -- and often while on state subsidies.

In the old days, class warriors were proverbial men of the people who made an effort to match their lifestyles with their rhetoric. Not now. When President Obama rails about "millionaires," we expect that in a few hours our Class Warrior in Chief will golf with Wall Street fat cats to hit them up for campaign money. We presume that the First Family prefers Costa del Sol, Martha's Vineyard or Vail to a passé Camp David.

If director Michael Moore or New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg warns us about impending rioting and class strife, we assume both live in huge homes and are multimillionaires. The new class-warfare coalitions are comprised mostly of the less well off and the very well off, one wishing for ever more state help, the other rich enough to not mind bestowing it. No wonder both demonize as greedy and racist Tea Baggers those in the middle who are most likely to feel the cost of ever more government.

The battleground of class warfare has moved from the streets of yesteryear to the TV studio green room, the golf links or the seaside hotel retreat. And when we really do see street violence -- looting in Britain or flash-mobbing in America -- angry youths usually target high-end electronics stores and fashion outlets, not food markets or bookstores. They organize on social networks from their laptops and cell phones, not from soup kitchens, bread lines or dank basements.

Class warfare is now not about brutal elemental poverty of the sort Charles Dickens or Knut Hamsun once wrote about. It is too often the anger that arises from not having something that someone else has, whether or not such style, privilege or discretionary choices are all that necessary. Endemic obesity, not malnutrition, threatens America -- including the nearly 50 million Americans who are on food stamps.

These are hard times, with high unemployment rates and economic stagnation. But we are not a nation of the malnourished and starving who are preyed upon by idle rich drones who pay no taxes. And a government that borrows $4 billion a day and spends $2 trillion more a year than it did just 10 years ago is hardly stingy.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


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