In modern day vernacular, the word “liberal” is a term used by conservatives to label their Democratic counterparts, especially those who advocate progressive theories of social and economic justice. But this interpretation of “liberalism” is an evolutionary one created by conservatives in response to the 20th century progressive movement. “Classical Liberalism” was first posited in 18th century Europe as expressed through the observations of Adam Smith, Thomas Hobbes and other advocates of personal liberty, individual rights and the rule of law. Adam Smith summarized the tenets of Classical Liberalism when he said “Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man.” The American Founders were heavily influenced by these tenets, and their commitment to the principles of classical liberalism is reflected in our nation’s founding documents and the political culture of early America. This culture, largely abandoned by progressive Democrats, has obstructed many attempts by the Left to fundamentally transform America. Now California Senator Kamala Harris would like to take her turn at fundamental transformation by serving as our President. Here is why that would be a bad idea.
Democratic Presidential candidates like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris share a political philosophy that denies American exceptionalism and seeks a more collectivist approach to public policy. Based on their past statements and Leftist political ideology, it is not hyperbole to say their focus on the collective shares much in common with that of former Communist leader Joseph Stalin. In 1929, Stalin would express his frustration with “American exceptionalism” as a political culture. His frustration was well founded because he knew America’s commitment to individual rights, respect for private property and aversion to European style social class made our nation uniquely resistant to the influence of Marxism.
Fast forward to today’s Presidential race, and we can see how Warren, Sanders and Harris are pulling every Leftist trick in the book to undermine individual rights and private property in favor of what Barack Obama once called “collective salvation.” Every speech they give and every policy position they take is carefully crafted to explain why we are all the victims of an unjust society that favors the wealthy class. Stalin would be proud of these three because each has taken a unique spin on attacking American exceptionalism and its commitment to free markets and individual rights. For example, let’s look at a recent proposal by Kamala Harris to better understand why she should never be allowed to set foot in the White House.
Kamala Harris is on track to overcome both Warren and Sanders in their bidding war to offer the most lucrative giveaways to voters who think they are victims. She has endorsed a range of socialist justice initiatives that include reparations for slavery and a proposal for “basic income” handouts. More recently, however, Harris has been pushing an equal-pay proposal that is largely a warmed-over replay of an Obama policy that was instituted by executive order, one that President Trump quickly rescinded.
Harris’ argument begins with the assumption that employers are practicing wide-spread wage discrimination against women and minorities. To defend her proposal, she points to the frequently cited but easily discredited Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) metric called the “raw wage gap.” The most recent BLS wage gap shows that the average female employee makes only 81% of a man’s wages. This metric is calculated by adding up all the median weekly compensation for full-time male workers, and likewise for women, and then dividing by the number of workers in each respective group. In other words, the metric is a simple average of wages for men and women. The raw wage gap does not account for differences in education, years of experience, job classification or type, number of hours worked, or preference for non-compensated benefits like flextime. The problem is that when one accounts for these factors, more comprehensive studies show the gap drops from about 20 percent to around six percent. This six percent margin might be accounted for by discrimination, or by other legitimate factors that have yet to be studied. In either case, this metric proves nothing without credible evidence, something that Harris believes she does not need to fundamentally transform the rights of employers.
Harris’ proposal would force employers with 100 employees
or more to certify to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that
they have no wage discrimination. As proposed, the EEOC would require more than
100,000 American employers to provide their bureaucrats with periodic access to
their private employment records in order to prove their company does not discriminate.
In other words, employers would be considered guilty until proven innocent. This
practice would undoubtedly lead to excessive litigation as
employers challenge the EEOC over intrusion into their private business
affairs. Further, the unintended consequence of such a proposal is that it
would open the door for the EEOC to seek regulation over private sector hiring
and compensation practices based on quotas or other considerations. If you do
not believe this could happen, note that regulators at the Securities and
Exchange Commission have previously
considered a quota system at the board level for
public companies based on their progressive diversity agenda.
like Harris ignore the fact that there is an intuitive argument that can be
made against the credibility of the raw wage gap, one that suggests such
discrimination does not make economic sense. Thomas Sowell, the
economist and political philosopher, has made this point by asking why an employer would pay a man a significantly
higher wage when they could hire an equally qualified woman for less? If employers
discriminated against women, it would create an incentive for employers to hire
equally qualified women before men. Increased competition for female employees
would, in turn, lead to increasing wages for women as employment markets adjust
to increasing demand. This naturally occurring process in market dynamics would
reduce any true gap in wages between men and women without instituting
oppressive government regulation.
Men and women performing equal work should receive equal pay. On this key point we can all agree. But as a former Attorney General of the State of California, it says a lot that Kamala Harris would propose legislation that parts with the time-honored principle in American jurisprudence of being presumed innocent until proven guilty. Even employers deserve adherence to this principle. But when a progressive Leftist like Harris is seeking political power, they are far too likely to express their contempt for the principles of Classical Liberalism in the policies they propose. That alone should be enough for any traditional American to say that Kamala Harris should never see the inside of the White House.
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Eric A. BeckEditor-In-ChiefFree Nation Media LLCGreenville, South Carolina###