Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's The Economy Stupid! Or Is It.

     Now that 2012 is here and the General election is a mere eleven months away, the main focus is going to be on the economy. The administration is going to pour untold amounts of money and effort into convincing people that 8 percent plus unemployment is good and that one percent growth in the GDP is exceptional. The first leg of this deception occurred last Friday with the employment number, which showed the economy added 200k jobs in December. This number is not only deceptive because it counts seasonal jobs that will go away in the first part of January, but because it doesn't include the unemployed who have stopped looking for work and the underemployed working part-time jobs.
     If there is one thing that a Rick Santorum candidacy would highlight, it is the inextricable link between strong families and a strong economy. This fact has been fleshed out in study after study over the years, most recently by the Brookings Institute. In the Brookings Institute study, the results showed that if an individual finished high school, married and worked a steady job, the chance of them living in poverty was 2 percent. These same individuals had a 70 percent chance of making 50k a year or more. Individuals who had any one of the aforementioned conditions missing, had a 70 percent chance of living in poverty and only a 4 percent chance of making over 50k a year. One of Senator Santorum's tag lines is that if we want a more limited government we need to have stronger families.
    Liberal policy over the last 50 years has had the effect of destroying the family in lieu of dependence on government. In the mid 1960s when Lyndon Johnson was developing his great society, some in his own party saw the destructive nature of these policies. Daniel Patrick Moynahan implored his fellow Democrats not to implement the policies of the welfare state because, in part, it would lead to a higher illegitimacy rate. Mr. Moynahan deplored the almost 20 percent illegitimacy among inner-city families and said it would go higher if the government replaced the father in those homes. For the record, we now have an illegitimacy rate in the general population approaching 40 percent and over 75 percent among inner-city families. Florida senator Marco Rubio put it more succinctly in a speech at the Reagan library last year when he stated that poverty does not create social ills, but rather social ills create poverty. Senator Rubio is correct, liberal public policy  encourages single-parenthood by subsidizing it. Many studies have shown that well over 80 percent of those in prison come from single-parent homes. These children are also much more likely to do poorly in school and get involved in drugs. If poverty led to higher crime rates, as the left claims, then crime would have been at an all time high during the depression when poverty was at one of its worst levels ever in this country. The facts show that the opposite was true. The reason for the low crime rate during the depression was intact families with strong moral foundations.
     A great philosopher once said that virtue created prosperity and then the daughter ate the mother. This brilliant but simple observation is why I never bought the idea of someone being a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. This identification ignores the irrevocable bond between the social and the fiscal. When the values that create the very fabric of society are subsidized out by government spending, neither the social nor the fiscal health of the country will prosper.

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