The Ideas of Obama vs. Edwards on Poverty

Libertarian Democrat writer Terry Michael made an excellent argument in favor of his first choice, Barack Obama, over John Edwards. His arguments regarding the problems with Edwards’ economic populism should also be of interest to supporters of some of the other candidates.

Michael reviewed some of the reactions to Edwards’ policies, agreeing with me The Onion best summed up the problems. Michael was impressed that “a low budget satirical tabloid knows a political huckster when it sees one.” His article concludes:

If Democrats are loony enough to buy the reactionary left-liberal, complete-the-New-Deal, wealth re-distributionist economics that Edwards is hustling, we (I’m a libertarian Democrat) risk blowing a nearly sure thing in 2008.

The middle class in this country is not falling behind. It is suffering from the psychological turmoil of “The Age of Abundance,” as Brink Lindsey describes it so well in his recent book. America’s working class is working.

And the impoverishment of our underclass is not the result of a failure of federal government largesse. Nor is it the legacy of rampant white racism. It’s what the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan was so maligned for writing truthfully in the late ’60s: a break-down of the family and the loss of nurturing values inherent in having two married parents. Or, to update Moynihan, two gay parents, or one loving single parent, skillfully caring for the children he, she and/or they produced or adopted.

The only serious Democratic candidate who seems to get this is Barack Obama. Instead of pandering to those Democrats whose minds were left somewhere in the Age of Aquarius, the Illinois senator, as Dionne wisely noted in the piece I faulted above, “stresses personal and parental responsibility.”

If we Democrats are serious about ending the government dependent underclass poverty we helped create with our misguided War on Poverty forty years ago, let’s hope what Obama stresses gets stressed in our 2008 platform.

If, however, we get sidetracked by the feel-good populism Edwards is peddling, we not only risk losing an election. We’ll once again fail those children trapped in underclass hell.

The differences in economic views between Obama and Edwards are receiving too little attention from the media, which is more interested in the horse race, as well as from Democrats. It took a conservative writer to look more at this subject and see the value of Obama’s ideas in an op-ed written a few days after Michael’s post, which I previously quoted here.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    Uday Chhatre says:

    The US Citizens should fight against their inside enymi of over powered consumerism and stop the over conssumption of natural wealth and have simple leaving
    The application soft communism / socialism by the way of national banking and national / govt loan providers 
    The mixed economy can be then easy answer to  financial collapse and exploitatoion of tax-payers money

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