On Monday, President Obama gave a speech at the first White House Summit on Working Families. He outlined four areas to improve family-friendly workplace policies to benefit working Americans. But his speech also highlighted a very wrong understanding of a basic economic principle, which even most elementary school students can accurately comprehend.
As a former elementary school teacher, I know that one of the most basic economic principles taught in a second grade Social Studies curriculum is Want vs. Need. In fact, understanding the difference between a want and a need is the foundation for understanding economic systems. Question most second graders and they will be able to tell you that a want is something you desire to have but it is not needed for survival. A need is basic food, clothing, and shelter required for survival.
After outlining the four work place policies that will supposedly benefit working families, President Obama remarked, “Family leave, childcare, flexibility and a decent wage aren’t frills. They’re basic needs. They shouldn’t be bonuses—they should be the bottom line.”
Basic needs? As an elementary school teacher, I would have to fail him based on his lack of rudimentary economics. These are not required for survival and therefore are not needs.
President Obama’s economic policies are based on his failure to understand the basic foundation of any economic system. It’s simple, it’s elementary but his failure to understand the simple foundation is costing hard working Americans their jobs as well as billions of dollars in tax money.
He even has the audacity to convey that he understands how to support working families. “The strength of our economy rests on whether we’re getting the most out of all our nation’s talent—whether we’re making it possible for all citizens to contribute to our growth and prosperity. That’s the key to staying competitive in the global market. Right now, we’re leaving too many people on the sidelines who have the desire and the capacity to work but are held back by one obstacle or another. “
By too many people on the sidelines, does he mean the record number of people (91.5 million) that have dropped out of the work force after six years of his policies to provide peoples wants? By obstacles does he mean the uncertainty and costs (increased premiums to cover abortions and coverage to children up to age 24 etc…) caused by Obamacare? Or by obstacles, does he mean his refusal to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to create 13,000 great paying construction jobs and another 20,000 indirect jobs like steel workers to manufacture the pipelines?
Perhaps he is referring to the job killing policies of his EPA, or his proposed national minimum wage that that is estimated to kill 500,000 jobs? Or maybe he was referring to his refusal to enforce immigration law and constant promises to give amnesty to illegal immigrants that encourage illegal immigrants to come to the U.S., during our second most dire economic disaster, and take jobs from legal U.S. working families.
Does he mean that kind of growth and prosperity?
Obama cleverly attempts to redefine wants, like providing flexibility in the workplace or even providing affordable childcare. He defines free cell phones, free cable, or a college education as a need because he knows U.S. citizens are the most generous people on the earth and are willing to give their money to provide for people’s needs. However, when the President proposes taking money through taxes from certain U.S. citizens to cover the wants and desires of other U.S. citizens, he is implementing socialism under the guise of helping meet our fellow countrymen’s “needs”.
He states, “But all Americans should get to benefit from these policies. That’s why we need to see some action here in Washington.” Haven’t we seen enough need by this administration to dictate action without the support of Congress? Doesn’t he realize Americans do not want his government intrusion and socialist policies on the people.
What we want is an economic system that appropriately balances the second grade principles of want vs. need. Where we help our fellow citizens when there is a true need but do not provide for their wants.
It’s an elementary principle that Obama fails at and in turn it is failing the hard-working citizens of this country.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.