Thursday, May 9, 2013

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs and Politics

Conservatives are always worrying about being out-politicked by the liberals.  Here's Daniel Henninger at The Wall Street Journal noticing that liberals are at work trying to defuse the youth jobs issue while conservatives argue with each other over immigration.
In Campaign 2012, Barack Obama promised the youth vote a rose garden. What they've got instead, as far as the eye can see, is an employment wasteland. 
So what are liberals doing about it?  They are trying to defuse it.  But really, they don't have an answer.  There's a study from the Center for American Progress, "The High Cost of Youth Unemployment," that, well, throws up its hands.
While this problem won't go away soon, the Times piece [on the CAP report] suggests how it will be explained away. The problem is global (true), and the "root causes" include low educational achievement (true, just don't mention the teachers unions) and not enough retraining. To help, we also could ease those parts of "the regulatory thicket without societal benefits" (translation: hands off ObamaCare). Other than that, economists find all this youth unemployment "a very big puzzle." Hmm. 
This sounds as though the liberals are still in throat-clearing mode on jobs.  Meanwhile Sen. Ted Cruz is running this all-hat-and-no-cattle tweet about Obama and jobs.  How long can it be before the MSM is trying to sideline Cruz as an extremist "bomb-thrower"?

Look.  Conservatives don't get to talk directly to the "yoof."  Liberals have the kids' liberal teachers, liberal college professors, liberal script-writers, liberal musicians.

But there comes a time in the life of every young person when they have to wonder about the story that the adults have told them.  Then, and only then are they ready for a new narrative.  By 2016 every intelligent young person will surely be wondering what went wrong.

Another thing.  The remarkable Hillary Clinton will, apparently, be running for president in 2016.  She will celebrate her 69th birthday just days before the election.  Leading a Clinton machine that is now over 20 years old.  They say that a national political figure has a shelf life of about 20 years.

My guess is that the US voters in 2016 will be thinking that it is "time for a change."  I don't see the youth vote getting all excited by a figure from the past.  I don't see the minority vote getting all excited after the disappointments of 8 years of Obama.  But I do see the gun people being all riled up.  And I do see the beginnings of a sea-change on the abortion issue.  Here's a touching story about a man who was nearly aborted by his 17-year-old mother in 1975.  When mother and son talked about it here's what went down.
She asked if I could forgive her. I answered, “Yes, with all my heart.”
Yeah.  Think about it, young 'uns and old 'uns.  There is one remarkable thing about not being aborted.  You get to play Jesus and tell your mommy that you forgive her for thinking about abortion.

The coming years are going to be so serious that the usual liberal tactics just aren't going to do the job for them.  Because the American people are going to be face to face with the most awful problems.

But the main problem is pretty simple.  After a century of the welfare state western society is all gummed up with the great inflexible entitlements and privileges that rigidify everything from the economy to the individual working lives of people.  The only way forward is to dissolve these encrusted corrosions and privileges.

In practice this means that the next political genius has to figure out how to persuade the grannies not to do the Charlton Heston line: You can take my Medicare out of my cold dead hands.

The promise of capitalism is that it will shower us all with prosperity, but only if we surrender to its mandate of permanent economic revolution.  There is no sacred right to a lifetime job, no right to a permanent pension, no right to intimidate other people out of a job.  Everyone must surrender to the daily orders of the market.  This commandment is encoded in the idea of the "invisible hand" that we should all first work to serve others in order to obtain our sustenance.

But government is force, politics is division, and so political leaders have always tempted people with the idea that they have a right to demand their rights and impose them on the rest of the nation.  This always ends up as a bureaucratic system, and system is domination, so every government intervention ends up as coercion and domination, replacing an old injustice with a new one.

I don't think that the liberals will be able to finesse this problem with fancy footwork and a compliant media much longer.  By 2016 the US voters will be in a nasty mood, and they won't be dutifully singing in the choir like they did in 2008.

But you never know.

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